MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit aviation combat element is scheduled to return this week following a successful seven-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Horn of Africa, Middle East and Mediterranean.
During the deployment, more than 4,500 Marines and Sailors of the America Amphibious Readiness Group and embarked 15th MEU conducted maritime security operations and multiple military-to-military exchanges with partner nations in support of regional security, stability and the free flow of maritime commerce in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.
The America ARG/15th MEU is a flexible, self-sustained crisis response force, capable of conducting operations from combat missions to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. The Navy-Marine Corps team exemplifies the dynamic capabilities of amphibious forces and Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, with air-borne and sea-based connectors to move people and supplies where and when needed.
Media are invited to attend the homecoming at MCAS Miramar Feb. 1 and must arrive at the East Gate no later than 11 a.m.
For media interested in attending the event, please send RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 p.m., Jan. 31.
Highlights from the deployment include:
The MEU/ARG conducted unilateral and bilateral combat rehearsals and massive exercises in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility such as Alligator Dagger in Djibouti, Africa as well as Alligator Thunder and Iron Magic in the United Arab Emirates that tested the MEU/ARG's grit, tactical knowledge and competence to meet 21st century challenges that may come their way. Embarked Marines and Sailors from the 15th MEU and Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade also deployed aboard French amphibious assault ship LHD Tonnerre (L9014), where they conducted maritime security operations within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to ensure regional stability, freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce. 3RD MARINE AIRCRAFT WING
Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), on its maiden deployment, also hosted the Dubai Air Show Reception including more than 300 distinguished visitors while MEU-ARG aviation assets were on display at the air show itself. Participation in the air show helped demonstrate how the various aircraft and equipment can be employed. Operationally, the use of similar assets by nations in the region facilitates interoperability, which can be exercised in theater cooperation events, such as exercises and training throughout the year.
The America ARG and 15th MEU supported multiple operations in the Central Command area of operations to include multiple theater security operations that enabled the team to train by, with and through partner nations as well as contributed logistics and aviation support for Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR) in Iraq.
Additionally, while in support of OIR, the MEU's joint tactical air controllers (JTACs) and RQ-20 Pumas assisted U.S. and Coalition forces by providing intelligence and precision air and ground strikes against ISIS targets. The 15th MEU assisted Coalition Forces to conduct more than 300 missions and destroyed nearly 1,000 pieces of equipment or strongholds across the area of operations. AV-8B Harrier pilots flew more than 600 hours with more than 80 sorties with a 100% successful strike rate against terrorist targets.
Combat Logistics Battalion 15 forward deployed a detachment to Iraq where they worked by, with and through partner forces in rebuilding several tactical assembly areas enabling the continued safeguarding and denial of safe havens to extremist organizations in Iraq.
The ARG/MEU's presence around the world supported strategic interests by contributing to regional security and stability, and represented U.S. commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa and Middle East regions. The blue-green team provided operational flexibility to the combatant commanders by providing a versatile contingency response force using sea, air, land and logistical assets. The versatility inherent to the amphibious force allowed for flexible and mission-tailored forces, while representing our nation's strength, capability, and resolve to partners and allies and deterring potential adversaries.