Makin Island ARG Departs on Maiden Deployment

Story Number: NNS111114-08Release Date: 11/14/2011 3:17:00 PM
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From Expeditionary Strike Group 3 Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) departed San Diego for deployment Monday, Nov. 14.

USS Makin Island (LHD 8), one of the Navy's newest, and most efficient amphibious assault ships, makes its maiden deployment as the flag ship for Amphibious Squadron 5 and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to be equipped with gas turbines and an electric drive system, replacing the older technology of steam boilers. With the ship's electric drive running, which is similar in functionality to that of a hybrid car, it is possible to transit longer distances using less fuel.

Additionally, Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to have an advanced electrical plant that powers all of the ship's auxiliaries, including the capability to produce 200,000 gallons of fresh water every day.

The Makin Island ARG, consisting of Makin Island, amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and embarked support units, is commanded by Capt. Humberto Quintanilla, commander, Amphibious Squadron 5.

"Our Navy and Marine Corps team plays a critical role in facilitating international maritime security cooperation," said Quintanilla. "Global maritime security can only be achieved through the unity of international and regional maritime integration, awareness, and response initiatives. The safety and economic interests of the United States and our allies and partner nations depend on unimpeded trade across the world's oceans."

Over the next several months, the Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU will work together to support the nation's maritime strategy abroad.

The Makin Island ARG helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within Third Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the nation's maritime strategy when forward deployed.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit

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