ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines assigned to the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) received a visit from the commmander of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and commanding general of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Feb. 3.
Rear Adm. Kevin D. Scott and Marine Brig. Gen. Christopher S. Owens visited each of the three ARG ships as Marines from the embarked 22nd MEU began returning home after a 10 1/2 month deployment conducting theater security operations in the U.S. 5th and 6th fleet areas of responsibility.
Both leaders took the time to meet with service members and to congratulate them on their successes during the past several months.
"Your deployment has made a mark in naval history not just in length, but the impact it's had on the world," said Scott. "Through countless amphibious operations, counterpiracy operations and bilateral exercises, you've hit a home run at each and every turn."
The BATARG, comprising multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), deployed three months ahead of schedule March 23 in support of NATO-led Operation Unified Protector.
BATARG ships steamed more than 55,000 nautical miles during the deployment, enough to circle the globe roughly 2 1/2 times. Aircraft safely conducted 18,404 evolutions and logged 5,305 flight hours in support of Operations Unified Protector and Enduring Freedom.
Other deployment highlights include numerous relations projects with host countries during port visits and the recovery of 10 mariners whose boat had capsized off the coast of Spain.
"The teamwork has been special, the camaraderie has been special, but more important, the impact you've made for those who will come after you is special," said Scott. "Thank you again for setting the example, going the distance; and enjoy the warm welcome that is waiting for you back home."
The Bataan ARG includes PHIBRON-6, with detachments from Naval Beach Group Two (CNBG) 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21, Fleet Surgical Team Six (FST) 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 det 2, Beach Master Unit (BMU) 2, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2 and ACU-4.
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