4,500 sailors, Marines to deploy Monday
SAN DIEGO — The ships, sailors and Marines of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit will depart San Diego Monday for deployment, the Navy announced Friday.
The group is composed of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore and the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage, which is embarking upon its maiden deployment.
“The Essex ARG/MEU has conducted a robust training cycle and has become a stronger Navy-Marine Corps team, successfully completing every evolution and certifying with flying colors,” said Capt. Clint Carroll, commander of Amphibious Squadron Three. “The sailors and Marines exemplify the hard work, dedication and unit cohesion necessary for a successful deployment. I am confident we are prepared to face any challenge and meet all missions.”
After leaving, the 4,500 sailors and Marines will take part in a U.S. Pacific Fleet training exercise near Hawaii, and then head off for regular operations, according to the Navy.
The Essex, named after a county in Massachusetts, is deploying for the first time since it was transferred three years ago to San Diego from its former base in Japan.