The USS Essex amphibious group and with Marines from Camp Pendleton left the Middle East on Sunday headed for the Pacific and eventually home to San Diego.
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From August to October, the AV-8B Harrier jets on the Essex took part in the multinational strikes against Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
While on station with the 5th Fleet in the Middle East, the group trained with the French military in Djibouti and with Jordanian marines.
“During the Essex Amphibious Ready Group’s time in the 5th Fleet area of operations, real-world issues and the resultant mission tasking drove the schedule,” said Capt. Clint Carroll. “The ARG’s success in the region speaks to the inherent adaptability, versatility and mobility of the ARG-MEU construct and to the Sailors and Marines who routinely performed no-fail missions with eye-watering precision in one of the world’s most unforgiving environments.”
With the Middle East behind them, the nearly 4,500 Sailors and Marines in the group will enter the 7th Fleet area and continue operations there before completing their scheduled seven-month deployment at the end of the year.
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