The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), the flag-ship of the IWOARG, and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) also stopped in Souda Bay, allowing the ARG to continue its deployment fully aggregated and ready to support Maritime Security.
"The ship's brief port visit to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay allowed us to accomplish regularly scheduled maintenance, take on much needed supplies and many from the crew were able to take advantage of several tours that were available," said Cmdr. LaDonna Simpson, Carter Hall's commanding officer. “We are very thankful for the professional and timely support shown to us while we were in Souda Bay. USS Carter Hall and crew remain willing and able to meet any challenges ahead."
The stop was a “working port” for Carter Hall, meaning the crew took on supplies and conducted maintenance in preparation for continuing its deployment.
Souda Bay’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office offered sightseeing tours to the crew, giving Sailors the opportunity to experience Greece during their stay.
Carter Hall is operating in the Mediterranean Sea in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression, and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.
The combined IWOARG and 24th MEU have roughly 4,300 Sailors and Marines. The ARG-MEU is deployed to SIXTHFLT in support of regional NATO Allies and partners as well as U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
The IWOARG consists of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), Carter Hall (LSD 50) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17). Embarked detachments for the Iwo Jima ARG include Amphibious Squadron Four, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) Six, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21, Naval Beach Group (NBG) Two, Beach Master Unit (BMU) Two, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) Two and Four, and Sailors from Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) Two.
The 24th MEU mission is to provide the United States with a forward-deployed, amphibious force-in-readiness capable of executing missions across the full spectrum of combat and military operations other than war, and consists of four basic elements, the Command Element, Ground Combat Element, Air Combat Element and the Logistics Combat Element. The unit consists of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/8, a logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 24, and an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron (VMM) 162 Reinforced.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
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