ESG 1 Crosses Date Line, Enters 7th Fleet AOR
Story Number: NNS050803-03
Release Date: 8/3/2005 11:30:00 AM
By Lt. Ron Flanders, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs
WESTERN PACIFIC (NNS) -- Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1 entered the second phase of its Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment July 29 when the group crossed the international date line and entered the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
Five ships, including the flagship of ESG 1 and Amphibious Squadron 1, USS Tarawa (LHA 1), the amphibious transport dock USS Cleveland (LPD 7), and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) and frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) officially entered the 7th Fleet AOR combat-ready with more than 2,200 embarked Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable). The guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) is in the 5th Fleet area of operations and will link up with ESG 1 there as part of the Navy’s Sea Swap initiative.
Commanded by Rear Adm. Michael A LeFever, ESG 1 has more than 5,500 Sailors and Marines standing ready to support Commander, Task Force (CTF) 76 in the Western Pacific. With a force construct that gives Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Jonathan Greenert the flexibility to rapidly conduct operations across the spectrum of warfare, ESG 1 embodies Greenert’s vision for responsive, short-term readiness. The strike group can operate independently, or as demonstrated July 25-26 in exercises with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, can integrate seamlessly into a multidimensional joint and combined force.
“Our strike group is a perfect tool to carry out the 7th Fleet ‘Framework for Action,’” LeFever said. “We are internally aligned with CTF 76 and externally aligned with our valuable Asian allies, whom we intend to engage and exercise with during our time here. We proved in 3rd Fleet that we can respond quickly to multiple threats at once during our Joint Task Force Exercise, and we’re combat ready.”
According to LeFever, the mission of ESG 1 is a very clear one.
“Our job is to be ready to carry out any mission at the word ‘go,’” LeFever said. “We can carry out the full range of missions, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation to combat operations, demonstrating the strong cooperation with our Asian friends in this vital region.”
While in the AOR, ESG 1 will fall under Rear Adm. Victor Guillory, commander of Amphibious Force, U.S. 7th Fleet.
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