By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Debra Daco
| April 05, 2016
INDIAN OCEAN (April 1, 2016) U.S. Marines with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conduct rappel training, April 1, 2016, during the MEU's western pacific deployment aboard the USS Boxer. More then 4,500 Marines and Sailors from the Boxer ARG, 13th MEU team are currently transiting the Pacific Ocean toward the U.S. 5th fleet area of operations during a scheduled deployment. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Briauna Birl/Released)
INDIAN OCEAN – The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) concluded operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, April 5.
As the ARG enter U.S. 5th Fleet, the Navy and Marine Corps team will provide forward naval presence in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and theater security cooperation efforts.
“I look forward to leading the force as we execute missions and tasking at the pointy end of the spear in the 5th Fleet,” said Capt. Keith Moore, commander of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1.
“The 5th Fleet area of responsibility is dynamic, ever-evolving, and challenging,” said Col. Anthony Henderson, commanding officer of the 13th MEU. “The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and 13th MEU are trained and ready for the spectrum of possible missions and operations.”
While in U.S. 7th Fleet, the Boxer ARG and 13th MEU conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation. The ARG participated in Exercise Ssang Yong 16 (SY16) and visited Hong Kong and Phuket, Thailand.
SY16 was a bilateral exercise between U.S. Navy and Marine forces and the Republic of Korea in order to strengthen interoperability and working relationships across the range of military operations from disaster relief to complex, expeditionary operations.
“The ARG/MEU’s performance during Exercise Ssang Yong, off the coast of South Korea, could not have been better,” said Moore. “The team executed with speed and precision during this complex Marine expeditionary brigade level exercise. The confidence gained from that success assures us we are ready to ‘answer all bells’ as we enter the dynamic operating environment of 5th fleet.”
The Boxer ARG is composed of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49).
The 13th MEU is comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced); a logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and a command element.
As an integrated Marine air-ground task force, the 13th MEU is capable of operating in a comprehensive range of conditions, environments and mission sets, from humanitarian assistance efforts to full-scale combat operations with little advance warning.
The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations comprises about 2.5 million square miles which includes parts of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Aden.