VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Nearly 400 Sailors assigned to USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) departed Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, Feb. 9, for a scheduled six-month deployment.
As part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), the dock landing ship will support maritime security operations, crisis response and theater security cooperation, while also providing a forward naval presence in Europe and the Middle East.
"From the start of our accelerated training cycle to the finish of Combined Composite Training Unit Exercise, this crew performed flawlessly. They were phenomenal," said Oak Hill Executive Officer Cmdr. Rod Jacobo about the crew's motivation to be ready for today. Oak Hill also conducted relief operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands last fall in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Oak Hill will later embark components of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) off the coast of North Carolina.
The 26th MEU is comprised of approximately 2,500 Marines and Sailors, and includes a command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element and logistics combat element.
The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 26th MEU and consists of Oak Hill, the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 4 and FST 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron 4.
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