USS PELELIU, At Sea (NNS) -- The San Diego-based Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group (PELESG) entered the second phase of its scheduled deployment May 18, when the group crossed the international date line and entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
"The U.S. Maritime Strategy calls for credible combat power to be continuously postured to protect America's vital interests, assure our friends and allies in the 7th Fleet AOR of our continuing commitment to regional security, and deter and dissuade potential adversaries," said Capt. Jon Padfield, commander, Amphibious Squadron 3.
"Our strike group is a highly capable tool of carrying out multiple types of missions that might arise in this part of the world," said Padfield. "From providing humanitarian assistance during a crisis, to deterring terrorism and preserving the free flow of trade, the Peleliu [Expeditionary] Strike Group is proof of America's commitment to peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific region."
Peleliu, along with the other ships that make up the PELESG, departed San Diego, May 4, on the current deployment.
"The Sailors and Marines of USS Peleliu have a lot of experience in and knowledge of this part of the world. This is the third deployment in as many years for many in the crew and I consider that depth of experience a significant asset for PELESG and this ship," said Capt. Marcus A. Hitchcock, Peleliu's commanding officer. "Whether it's providing humanitarian assistance or contributing to the U.S.'s cooperative security commitments in the area, we are ready and able to rapidly respond to a range of situations."
The 7th Fleet AOR includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian oceans, stretching from the international date line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.
More than half of the world's population lives within the 7th Fleet AOR. In addition, more than 80 percent of that population lives within 500 miles of the oceans, which means this is an inherently maritime region.
For more news from USS Peleliu, visit www.navy.mil/local/lha5/.