USS Essex Embarks 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Someoneforyou, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    USS Essex Embarks 31st MEU

    UNITED STATES - 30 JANUARY 2011

    USS Essex (LHD 2) embarked more than 1,200 Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Jan. 27-28, in preparation for a patrol throughout the Western Pacific region.

    During the on-load, the USS Essex Combat Cargo department loaded more than 100 vehicles and 300 pieces of equipment from the MEU's battalion landing team, ground combat element, aviation combat element and combat logistics battalion (CLB).

    "The on-load is new for everyone on this crew," said Gunnery Sgt. Steven R. Jones, USS Essex senior combat cargo assistant. "We finished ahead of schedule, which is rare with a new crew. For a ship this size, it usually takes three days to load, but this time it took half the time."

    Chief Warrant Officer Scott R. Allison, USS Essex combat cargo officer, also praised the efficient handling of the MEU on-load.

    "It went smooth, actually pretty outstanding – one of the quickest on-loads the ship has done," he said.

    "Combat cargo Marines come from multiple military occupation specialties and have only about 10 days of training," Jones said. "We have a good team. Everyone did what they were supposed to do."

    While seasoned veterans comprise much of the MEU, the patrol will provide many Marines with their first taste of life aboard a Navy ship.

    "I'm looking forward to the training exercises and seeing some of the different countries we're going to be visiting," said Lance Cpl. Dustin S. Delosh, 31st CLB.

    The patrol will feature a series of maritime training exercises designed to build relationships and enhance operational readiness between U.S. and Western Pacific partner nations. Essex Sailors, along with the 31st MEU, will train with forces throughout the region.

    Essex, commanded by Capt. David Fluker, is part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is underway in the Western Pacific region.



    EAST CHINA SEA (Jan. 26, 2011) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Daniel Tesauro directs a Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter to land aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). USS Essex is part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is on patrol in the western Pacific Ocean.
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    EAST CHINA SEA (Jan. 26, 2011) Fire Controlman 2nd Class Jonathan J. Connor, right, loads a RIM-7P Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile into a launcher aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). USS Essex is part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is on patrol in the western Pacific Ocean.
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  3. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    USS Essex (LHD-2) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. The Wasp class amphibious assault ship is a group of United States Navy ships designed to land forces on hostile shores and transport troops by helicopter for the United States Marine Corps. The class's ships are the largest vessels of this type in service anywhere in the world.

    Each Wasp-class warship has a hospital with 600 patient beds and six operating rooms. All Wasp-class ships have been built at the Ingalls Shipbuilding company, in Pascagoula, Mississippi.


    General characteristics:

    Class and type: Wasp-class amphibious assault ship

    Displacement: 40,650 tons (full combat load)

    Length: 844 ft (257 m)

    Beam: 106 ft (32 m)

    Draft: 28 ft (8.5 m) (full load)

    Propulsion: Geared steam turbines

    Speed: 24+ knots

    Boats and landing craft carried: 3 LCACs or 2 LCUs

    Troops: 1,800

    Complement: 73 officers, 1109 enlisted

    Armament: Combination of Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM), NATO Sea Sparrow missiles, Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS, .50-caliber M2HB machine gun, 25 mm Mk 38 chain guns

    Aircraft carried: up to 36, including: UH-1N Huey, AH-1W Cobra, CH-53 Super Stallion, CH-46 Sea Knight, MH-60 Seahawk, AV-8B Harrier

    U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ships (LHD):

    USS Wasp (LHD-1)
    USS Essex (LHD-2)
    USS Kearsarge (LHD-3)
    USS Boxer (LHD-4)
    USS Bataan (LHD-5)
    USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)
    USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7)
    USS Makin Island (LHD-8)


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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  4. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Essex Amphibious Ready Group Begins Cobra Gold 2011
    7 FEBRUARY 2011

    GULF OF THAILAND -- The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) began its part in the U.S-Thai sponsored joint, multinational exercise Cobra Gold 2011 (CG 11) in the Gulf of Thailand, Feb. 7.

    The militaries of the Kingdom of Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia will work with more than 7,200 U.S. service members at multiple locations throughout Thailand to improve interoperability.

    The exercise is designed to demonstrate the ability of the involved militaries to rapidly deploy a joint task force to conduct combined operations at sea and ashore.

    "I think it is very important to renew our ties with the Kingdom of Thailand and maintain our strong military working relationship," said Capt. Bradley Lee, commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11. "U.S. forces rarely act alone when responding to crises and rendering humanitarian assistance. Exercises like CG 11 enhance our ability to respond by letting the involved services learn each others' philosophies and rehearse our integration."

    During the exercise, the ARG will conduct naval maneuvers and training evolutions with the Royal Thai Navy at sea, while multinational forces collaborate in a full-scale, simulated amphibious assault. CG 11 will also include a staff exercise, humanitarian civic projects and field training exercises.

    "Planning and coordination are very important during exercises like this," said Lee. "We have the people, the equipment and the setting to make this a very successful undertaking. We can't control every aspect of the exercise, and that is why we will remain flexible. I'm very confident that the team we have assembled will be able to carry out the mission and perform well."

    Two Royal Thai Navy officers have been embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) since late January, to assist with the planning of CG 11.

    "It has been a pleasure having the Thai officers on board," said Lee. "They are professional, knowledgeable, and have helped give us a better sense of situational awareness."

    The U.S. and the Kingdom of Thailand have been working together for 178 years. CG 11 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote peace and security in the Western Pacific.

    "I've been a part of the Cobra Gold exercise before, and I'm glad to be back in Thailand," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Bryce R. Perkins, USS Essex. "The U.S. and Thailand have a lot to offer one another, and I like being a part of something that demonstrates that."

    The ARG consists of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) embarked aboard USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) and the dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42).

    "There are things that each of our partner nations do well that we may not do as well and vise versa," said Lee. "The main reason we conduct exercises like Cobra Gold is to learn from our partner nations. Sharing responsibilities and assets makes us a much more potent force."

    CG 11 will conclude Feb. 18, at which point the Essex ARG will continue its patrol in the Western Pacific. This year's exercise marks the 30th anniversary of the CG series.

    The Essex Amphibious Ready Group reports to Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.



    PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb 06, 2011) The Amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) is underway in the western Pacific Ocean with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) and Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11. Essex is the lead ship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group.
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  5. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    USS Essex Loads Humanitarian Assistance Supplies Bound for Relief Effort in Japan
    UNITED STATES - 16 MARCH 2011

    USS ESSEX, At Sea -- The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) on-loaded humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) supplies March 15 during a replenishment at sea in preparation for aiding Japan after it was hit by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami March 11.

    More than 45 pallets of surgical masks, water containers, water purifying tablets, health and comfort packs, blankets, and insect repellant were brought aboard during a vertical replenishment-at-sea with the dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9). Essex can navigate the supplies ashore using its amphibious craft and air assets if tasked to assist with Operation Tomodachi in Japan.

    "We are looking at how we can help the Japanese Self Defense Forces and how we can help move much-needed supplies to the people that need them the most," said Capt. Bradley Lee, Amphibious Squadron 11, commander. "As always, the safety of our Sailors and Marines is essential. We will take all the necessary precautions to make sure that we send people into a safe environment and that they are poised for success."

    Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) ships are capable of carrying out a variety of HADR operations using helicopters assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and the Navy's Helicopter Sea Control Squadron 25 or amphibious craft assigned to Beach Master Unit 1 and Assault Craft Unit 1.

    During the replenishment-at-sea, Essex air and combat cargo departments worked to bring the supplies from the flight deck to the hangar bay where Sailors from supply department secured them for sea.

    "Supply is playing a major role in these HADR operations because we are in charge of coordinating all of the cargo we bring onboard," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Alejandra Gutierrezalba. "During any replenishment, everyone available from supply department is on hand to account for these supplies, organize them, and get them into storage until they are needed. Of course, we couldn't do any of that without the 150-man working party of the ship's crew and Marines of the 31st MEU."

    The supplies will remain aboard until Essex is specifically tasked to take part in Operation Tomodachi.

    "Essex ARG Sailors and Marines see the suffering that is going on and we know that we can help. It's what we are trained to do," said Lee. "We can't wait to get on station to get started in helping Japan restore some normalcy in the affected areas."

    "It's unfortunate that things like this happen, but this is our mission in the Navy," said Gutierrezalba. "I'm glad that we are out here ready to assist the Japanese people."

    The Essex ARG is comprised of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) and the dock landing ships USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USS Germantown (LSD 42) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46).


    PHILIPPINE SEA (March 15, 2011) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter transports humanitarian assistance supplies from the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9) to the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex is underway to Japan to provide humanitarian assistance as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi.
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    PACIFIC OCEAN (March 14, 2011) Sailors move a forklift aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42). Germantown is assigned to the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is preparing to provide humanitarian assistance to Japan as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi.
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    SEPANGAR, Malaysia (March 12, 2001) The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) gets underway from Sepangar, Malaysia to support earthquake and tsunami relief operations in Japan as directed.
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  6. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), 31st MEU Arrive Off Coast of Japan
    UNITED STATES - 18 MARCH 2011

    USS ESSEX, Sea of Japan -- Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) ships arrived off the west coast of mainland Japan in preparation to provide humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HADR) support to the nation, March 18.

    Shortly after arriving, helicopters from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conducted aerial reconnaissance of the Akita port area and surveyed available road networks and airfields to the east, for potential supply routes and staging areas near the disaster zone.

    A six-man forward command element of the 31st MEU went to Matsushima, Japan, in order to coordinate initial efforts for disaster aid planning with officials already on scene.

    With more than 150 amphibious vehicles and 25 aircraft, the MEU is able to provide extensive distribution services by ground and air.

    "This MEU is an organization ideally suited for humanitarian assistance in a coastal region such as this," said Col. Andrew MacMannis, 31st MEU commanding officer. "We have aviation and amphibious platforms capable of rapid delivery of relief supplies, medical assistance, transportation assets and engineer equipment to an affected area, which could be of great assistance to those in need right now."

    ARG ships are capable of carrying out a variety of HADR operations using helicopters assigned to the 31st MEU and the Navy's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, or amphibious craft assigned to Beach Master Unit One and Assault Craft Unit One.

    "The crew is very well prepared and highly trained," said Capt. David Fluker, USS Essex (LHD 2) commanding officer. "We have reviewed and practiced our procedures to ensure we are ready to operate in this environment safely."

    The ships are capable of providing fresh water, medical contingency support, search-and-rescue support, heavy lift capabilities and amphibious crafts. Combining with the efforts of the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF), the crew is looking forward to helping its host nation during its time of need.

    "I just could not be more proud of the crew and their eagerness to be involved as they always do when it comes time to help friends, partners and allies, specifically our host nation of Japan, in their time of need," said Fluker.

    Essex ARG is comprised of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) and the dock landing ships USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USS Germantown (LSD 42) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46).

    USS Tortuga is in the vicinity of Ominato in northern Honshu after delivering 93 vehicles and 273 Japan Ground Self Defense Force ashore via landing craft March 17. The ship transported the soldiers and their vehicles from Tomakomai, Hokkaido, to assist with the disaster recovery efforts. The ship will also transport 5,000 bottles of water and 5,000 Meals Ready to Eat to Misawa for further distribution to people in need.
     

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