The amphibious assault ship and accompanying vessels and Marines in its ready group are within the Persian Gulf as a part of the U.S. Central Command’s counterterrorism operations towards ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
“Long range F-35B Lightning II strike operations demonstrate the ARG/MEU’s ability to project air power well beyond the shore,” stated Col. Christopher J. Bronzi, commanding officer of the Camp Pendleton-based 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“We look forward to exercising the capabilities in our arsenal while in theater and remain ready to deliver those capabilities at any time if called upon,” he added.The air operations additionally included missions by MV-22B Osprey tiltrotors from Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 at Pendleton.The Makin Island prepared group contains the amphibious transport dock ships USS Somerset and USS San Diego. Aboard the ships are 5,000 sailors and marines together with jets, helicopters and autos to help an amphibious touchdown.
“Conducting a long range strike mission with fifth generation F-35B fighters from amphibious assault ships demonstrates the versatility this platform brings to the joint force,” stated Lt. Col. Christopher Kelly.
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