Saturday, December 18, 2010

Peleliu ARG Returns From Deployment

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PEL ARG) returns to San Diego Saturday Dec. 18 after a seven-month deployment to the 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, conducting humanitarian relief in Pakistan and counter piracy operations off the Horn of Africa.

"The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit worked together and completed a variety of missions during deployment," said Capt. Dale G. Fuller, Amphibious Squadron 3 commander. "I am proud of each Sailor and Marine's dedication, professionalism and honorable service to their country."

The ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), amphibious transport dock USS Dubuque (LPD 8), amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and embarked Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

While deployed, the PEL ARG participated in Exercise Crocodilo in Timor-Leste, conducting a broad range of military-to-military training; including harbor security, weapons, navigation and engineering while the MEU integrated with Indonesian marines for jungle warfare training.

In August, PEL ARG/15th MEU responded to Pakistan's request for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after monsoonal rains flooded much of the country. Fifteen heavy and medium-lift helicopters from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165 (Reinforced) delivered supplies and rescued those stranded.

Along with U.S. Navy helicopters assigned to Mine Countermeasure Squadron 15, the ARG/MEU delivered five million pounds of relief supplies and evacuated more than 9,000 people throughout 98 days of providing assistance to the people of Pakistan.

Other significant mission contributions from PEL ARG/15th MEU include AV-8B Harriers of Marine Attack Squadron 311 providing close air support for U.S. military ground forces in Afghanistan, sending in a Maritime Raid Force from Dubuque to embark, seize and recover Motor Vessel Magellan Star after it was hijacked by suspected pirates, and Pearl Harbor, along with the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81), rescued 62 persons stranded at sea after their skiff capsized off the coast of Somalia.

Peleliu, Dubuque and Pearl Harbor help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian assistance/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's maritime strategy when forward deployed.