July 28, 2020 – USS New York (LPD 21) returned to Naval Station Mayport, the final ship from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) to return home after completing a nearly eight-month deployment that began in December. Her late arrival is after a stop in Rota for repairs.
The other ships of the ARG, the Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) returned to their homeports in Virginia on July 15 and 18, respectively.
The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) which operated with the Bataan ARG while embarked aboard the three ships, additionally disembarked and returned home earlier this month.
“I am extremely proud of the Sailors and Marines of New York for a phenomenal deployment in support of national interests in the Commander, 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation,” said Capt. James “Pete” Kennedy, commanding officer of New York. “Despite all the world changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York responded to every tasking with professionalism and motivation. We are absolutely thrilled to be home with our friends and families and take a little downtime as the ship prepares for our next opportunity to serve our country.”
While in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, New York and the rest of the ARG/MEU worked with partners from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to coordinate multiple complex training evolutions on the uninhabited Karan and Kurayn islands in the Arabian Gulf.
During port visits in Aqaba, Jordan; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Duqm, Oman, in January and February before COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, New York’s senior leaders met with local experts, diplomats and military leaders, building relationships and strengthening international partnerships.
While in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, New York served as the sea base for Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters during a dynamic live-fire exercise in Bize, Albania.
In late June, New York pulled into Naval Station Rota, Spain, for maintenance and supplies, exercising the Navy’s safe-haven port network, in which designated “bubble” ports are equipped to resupply naval vessels pierside while protecting ships and service members from COVID-19 exposure.
“The Sailors and Marines of USS New York worked tirelessly on this seven-month deployment, protecting freedom of navigation on the seas and strengthening America’s vital international partnerships,” said Capt. Jason Rimmer, commander of the Bataan ARG. “They have made their shipmates, families, friends and loved ones proud through their exemplary service and professionalism. These fine women and men will now get the family reunions they deserve for a job well done.”
Throughout the deployment, the BAT ARG/MEU strictly adhered to the CDC, Department of Defense and host nations’ coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines to mitigate contracting and spreading the virus and to maintain the health and readiness of the crew.
ARG-MEUs operate continuously across the globe and provide the geographic combatant commanders with a forward-deployed, flexible and responsive sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force. The blue-green team is fully capable of conducting operations across a full spectrum of conventional, unconventional and hybrid warfare.