||The Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) centers on the flexibility and readiness of a combined expeditionary unit and an amphibious readiness group (ARG). The total ESG provides operational freedom and expanded warfare capabilities, not only by land with embarked Marines, but at sea, as well. The exact make-up of an Expeditionary Strike Group is in the process of being defined, but currently consists of:
- An Amphibious Assault Ship (LHA or LHD) – Primary landing ships, resembling small aircraft carriers,
designed to put troops on hostile shores. In a secondary role, using AV-8B Harrier aircraft and anti-submarine warfare helicopters, these ships perform sea control and limited power projection missions.
- An Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD) Ship – Warships that embark, transport, and land elements
of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.
- A Dock Landing Ship (LSD) – Dock Landing Ships support amphibious operations including
landings via Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), conventional landing craft and helicopters, onto hostile shores. The three classes of LSDs are the Harpers Ferry class, Whidbey Island class, and Anchorage class.
- Guided Missile Cruiser – multi-mission surface combatant. Equipped with Tomahawks for long-range strike capability.
- Guided Missile Destroyer – multi-mission suface combatant, used primarily for anti-air warfare (AAW)
- Frigate – primarily for anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
- Attack Submarine – in a direct support role seeking out and destroying hostile surface ships and submarines
- A Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) – missions range from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to major theater war
- AV-8B Harrier II – Attack and destroy surface targets under day and night visual conditions.
- CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters – Transportation of heavy equipment and supplies during the ship-to-shore movement of an amphibious assault and during subsequent operations ashore.
- CH-46D Sea Knight helicopters – Medium lift assault helicopter, primarily used to move cargo and troops.
- AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters – Provides fire support and fire support coordination to the landing force during amphibious assaults and subsequent operations ashore.