USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- The Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) set sail Aug. 24 for their first at-sea group exercise, in preparation for next year's six-month deployment.
Comprised of USS Nassau (LHA 4), USS Nashville (LPD 13) and USS Ashland (LSD 48), as well as the 24th Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit (MEU), the ESG's group sail provides the opportunity for crews to focus on teamwork and communications that will prove to be vital to the mission success of their 2008 deployment.
"The group sail is designed to provide basic amphibious training to the Amphibious Readiness Group ships prior to forming up with the rest of the ESG," said Capt. James R. Boorujy, commanding officer of Nassau. "It includes working with all types of landing craft in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory as well as becoming proficient in ship handling, communication and live-fire exercises."
The ESG concept centers on the combined flexibility and readiness of a Navy amphibious readiness group and a MEU, augmented by surface combatant ships and a fast-attack submarine, armed with expanded offensive and defensive warfare capabilities, by land with embarked Marines, and at sea. This exercise is designed to forge the strike group into a cohesive, fighting team and represents a critical step in the pre-deployment training cycle.
The 24th MEU's goal for the ESG group sail is to conduct evolutions that they would execute during the upcoming deployment and real-world operations.
"This is a great opportunity for our Marines to get familiar with the ship and its capabilities," said Gunnery Sgt. Anthony M. Bargallo, non-commissioned officer in charge of Combat Cargo. "It helps us identify and iron out kinks and combat any potential operational problems. It also allows the Navy and Marine Corps team to take any steps necessary for assuring a smooth deployment."
Once the group sail is complete, Nassau and the other ships in the ESG will continue on to the next step of their Integrated Readiness Cycle.
Nassau is assigned to Commander Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group. The six ships and 5,000 Sailors and Marines allow warfighting naval amphibious forces to operate with joint and combined forces for combatant commanders.
For more news from USS Nassau, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/lha4/.