Peleliu Strike Group Deploys


Story Number: NNS080505-07Release Date: 5/5/2008 2:57:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Jason McKnight, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Peleliu (LHA 5) deployed May 4 in support of the war on terrorism as part of the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group's (PELESG) regular deployment rotation.

The PELESG is led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron (COMPHIBRON) 3 and includes the flag ship, Peleliu, amphibious ships USS Dubuque (LPD 8) and USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97) and USS Benfold (DDG 65).

"This strike group provides fleet and theater commanders with an assortment of options depending on the needs of any situation they may face," said COMPHIBRON 3, Capt. Jon Padfield. "Be it delivery of combat forces, humanitarian assistance, non-combatant evacuations, or maritime security, Peleliu ESG's assets are ready to provide the right support at the right place at the right time."

Peleliu's Commanding Officer, Capt. Marcus Hitchcock, said the PELESG is an integrated Navy and Marine Corps asset which can reach deep into the shore environment without requiring permanent, fixed land bases.

"Because we bring so many different organizations and capabilities to the area and don't need shore infrastructure, we provide a sea base from which theater commanders can draw exactly the type of support they need," said Hitchcock. "Our embarked Marines can be put on shore via helicopter, hovercraft, or boats to conduct combat operations, or those same platforms can be used to ferry doctors and critical supplies to natural disaster sites to render aid almost immediately."

Medical facilities aboard Tarawa-class amphibious ships such as Peleliu are second only to dedicated hospital ships in the Navy's inventory.

With the addition of cruisers and destroyers, the strike group's ability to conduct maritime interdiction operations ensures vital sea lanes for the world's economies remain free from piracy.

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) under the command of Col. Brian Beaudreault will be deploying with COMPHIBRON 3, as well as naval supporting units including the "Surfriders" of Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1, the "Swift Intruders" of ACU-5, Beach Master Unit 1, and Fleet Surgical Team 1.

Tactical Air Control Squadron 11 Det. 3, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, and Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light 45 Dets. 3 and 5 are providing air support for the deployment.

For more news from USS Peleliu, visit www.navy.mil/local/lha5/.

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Amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) conducts local operations near the Southern California coast. Peleliu is a member of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3, homeported in San Diego.
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
November 1, 2007
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