The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) arrived in Piraeus, Greece, Jan. 11, 2024, for a regularly scheduled port visit after supporting operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations since early August.
Piraeus, Greece marks the first port visit during the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group’s (ARG) deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) area of responsibility. Sailors and Marines will have the opportunity to explore Piraeus and partake in Grecian history, cuisine, and cultural excursions.
“I can’t say enough great things about the hard work and dedication shown by the entire Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) team throughout the deployment,” said Amphibious Squadron 8 Commodore Capt. Martin Robertson. “We are excited for the opportunity to visit Greece, and are grateful to our Greek Allies for supporting this visit.”
For most Sailors and Marines, this will be their first time visiting the cities of Piraeus and Athens with tours offered by the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation committee.
“Engineering has been working hard during this deployment and I’m ready to get some much needed liberty in port,” said Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Rahmhere Jones Ingalls. “I can’t wait to do some sightseeing in Piraeus and Athens, learn about the culture, and try Greek food.”
While in the vicinity of Greece, the Bataan ARG and 26th MEU(SOC) are also participating in Exercise “Odyssey Encore,” alongside the 32nd Hellenic Marine Brigade, to showcase the operational capabilities of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
Bataan, Carter Hall and 26th MEU(SOC) reintegrated with the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19). The separation and re-aggregation of the Bataan ARG highlighted the U.S. Navy’s inherent flexibility to conduct operations whenever and wherever we choose, giving our nation and Allies deterrence and defense options, as well as reinforces the strong bond between the United States and Greece.
The ARG/MEU team will continue to support its NATO Allies by conducting routine operations, participating in training exercises, and supporting NATO priorities.