Iwo Jima ARG Ends Seven-Month Deployment
More than 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed a seven-month deployment July 15-20, returning to Naval Station Mayport, Fla., Naval Station Norfolk, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va. and Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Deployed since Dec. 11, 2014, the Iwo Jima ARG and 24th MEU supported theater security cooperation and provided a forward naval presence by providing crisis response, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and combat capabilities in the U.S. 6th and 5th fleet areas of operation.
The Iwo ARG/24 MEU team played a crucial role in Yemen evacuation and contingency operations, participated in multiple bilateral and multi-lateral training exercises and conducted strategic transits of the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb.
The 24th MEU conducted sustainment training in Kuwait and Djibouti as well as bilateral and multi-lateral exercises in Jordan and Kuwait.
The Iwo Jima ARG conducted port visits in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Montenegro, Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan. The visits provided an opportunity for the U.S. military forces to strengthen ties with the host nations and foster relationships.
The Essex ARG and 15th MEU relieved the Iwo Jima ARG in the 5th Fleet area of operations in July.
Image: US Navy