More than 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BAT ARG) and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed a seven-month deployment Sept. 23, when their ships returned to Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

In addition to amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), the ARG also includes Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8, amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), Fleet Surgical Team 6, detachments from Assault Craft Unit 2 and 4, Beachmaster Unit 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 Det. 1.

The BAT ARG and 24th MEU participated in bilateral and multilateral exercises including Spring Storm in Romania, Eager Lion in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Alligator Dagger in Djibouti. Each exercise provided an opportunity to work with partner nations, strengthening relationships across the globe.

To accomplish these missions the ARG traveled a total of 110,000 nautical miles, conducted more than 4,000 flight hours and completed 40 replenishments-at-sea during the course of the deployment.

“We are extremely proud of what our Sailors and Marines have accomplished during this deployment,” said, Commodore of PHIBRON-8 Capt. Larry LeGree.

“We are all ready to return home to our loved ones and looking forward to some well-deserved time off.”

The 24th MEU consists of a Command Element, a Ground Combat Element, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, an Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 Reinforced and Combat Logistics Battalion 24. While deployed in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility, the BAT ARG/24 MEU team supported maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what this Navy and Marine Corps team has accomplished,” Commander of, 24th MEU Col. Ryan Rideout.

“We had Marines, Sailors and ships deployed across the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation, provided support to European, Africa and Central Commands and supported named operations in Syria, Yemen and Libya. These young men and women executed their missions with professionalism and excellence. They have a lot to be proud of and are certainly excited to be coming home in the wake of such success.”

While in the Middle East, the ARG/MEU (an integral component of Naval Amphibious Forces, Task Force 51 and 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade) also provided critical crisis response capabilities at sea, from the sea and ashore across the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s U.S. 5th Fleet’s area of responsibility.

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