VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) returned home July 3 to Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.
The Oak Hill conducted maritime operations in support of the ongoing rotation of forward-deployed forces in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility while attached to the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG).
While underway, the Oak Hill traveled to the north Persian Gulf to assist the Boxer ESG with a backload of Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
"It feels great to be back," said Seaman Ryan Curry. "I'd have to say that one of our biggest accomplishments while out to sea was getting the Marines to where they needed to be while taking care of our regular responsibilities."
During 5th Fleet exercises Edged Mallet, Image Nautilus and Eastern Maverick, Oak Hill transported the 26th MEU to enhance interoperability and tactical proficiency between U.S. and Middle East forces while strengthening and refining peaceful military-to-military relationships.
"The deployment went really well," said Damage Controlman 1st Class (SW) Andy Jillard. "It felt good to be over in the Middle East cooperating with regional forces to build understanding and recognition between us."
The deployment was a complete success for Oak Hill and the strike group, and marks the second time Oak Hill has been out to sea this year.
"The pride my Sailors have for their ship is what kept the morale up while underway," said Oak Hill Commanding Officer Cmdr. Ray A. Staff. "We know we were out there making a difference, and this ship, along with the rest of the ships in the battle group, will remain prepared and ready for anything that lies ahead."
The Bataan ESG consists of PHIBRON 2, USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Scranton (SSN 756), Oak Hill, USS Underwood (FFG 36), and the 26th MEU based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For more news from around the fleet, visit www.navy.mil.