Makin Island ARG, fifteenth MEU leaves Center East for INDO-PACOM, Eisenhower helps anti-ISIS wrestle from Mediterranean

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Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Eberhart, assigned to the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD-25), watches the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8) previous Somerset within the Gulf of Oman March 23 2021. United States Marine Corps picture

The Makin Island Amphibious Prepared Group and the fifteenth Maritime Expeditionary Group left the Center East this week and are working beneath U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the U.S. seventh Fleet confirmed to USNI Information Thursday.

The three-ship Amphibious Prepared Group embarked with the fifteenth MEU is on the finish of its deployment within the Center East and the Pacific and has returned to the West Coast.

Amphibious warship at massive deck USS Makin Island (LHD-8) has been the one US Central Command capital ship for the reason that departure of the Nimitz Provider Strike Group in January.

Since Might 2019, the Navy has maintained an virtually fixed presence of the Provider Strike Group within the area. The departure of the ARG leaves the US naval presence within the area at its lowest level for the reason that Lincoln CSG was rushed into the area in 2019. Nonetheless, this week the French plane service FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) took the lead of Process Pressure 50 of the US Naval Forces Central Command.

The French ought to cede command to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) later this month. IKE and its strike group this week started conducting air operations in help of the anti-ISIS effort.

ARG – USS Makin Island (LHD-8), USS Somerset (LPD-25) and USS San Diego (LPD-22) – left the West Coast in October with the fifteenth MEU. The ARG operated within the western Pacific after which in December off East Africa in help of Operation Octave Quartz, the named operation to reposition roughly 700 U.S. troops from Somalia to d different components of Africa.

From February 8 to March 18, the Makin Island ARG operated within the Persian Gulf in help of the anti-ISIS Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Enduring Freedom, with an embarked detachment assigned to F-35B Lighting. II Joint Strike Fighters.

On March 23, the Marines introduced that Col. Christopher Bronzi, who had led the MEU since November 2019, was deposed by Marine Corps forces, Pacific Commander Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder “because of a lack of command confidence, following the completion of the command’s investigation into the amphibious assault automobile crash that occurred off San Clemente Island, Calif., July 30, 2020 . ”The previous commander of the eleventh MEU, Colonel Fridrik Fridriksson, took command of the fifteenth MEU.

The departure of the ARG from CENTCOM comes because the Biden administration strikes to withdraw US army forces from the Center East.

In response to a report in The Wall Avenue Journal, the Pentagon is withdrawing three Patriot missile protection batteries it transferred to Saudi Arabia in 2019 as half of a bigger effort to direct extra forces to the Pacific.

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