Amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD 2), flagship of the ESSEX Amphibious Ready Group (ESX ARG), along with amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD 27), dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, September 12.
While in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, the ESX ARG and 11th MEU will operate and train alongside regional and coalition partners.
As an inherently flexible maneuver force, capable of supporting routine and contingency operations, the ARG/MEU’s presence demonstrates the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps commitment to regional partners and maritime security.
The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.