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SAN DIEGO - USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS San Diego (LPD 22) and USS Somerset (LPD 25) returned to port at Naval Base San Diego, May 23, concluding a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), embarked aboard the ships of the ready group, arrived off the coast of Southern California, May 21, to disembark at Camp Pendleton, California.
“I am so excited to be able to welcome home the Makin Island Amphibious Readiness Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit to San Diego,” said Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3. “These ships were deployed during an unprecedented pandemic and demonstrated the ability of the Navy and Marine Corps team to fight through to do the mission. I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of them and their families for their service and their sacrifice.”
The Makin Island ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, and amphibious transport dock ships USS San Diego and USS Somerset, and led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron THREE. The 15th MEU consists of the Command Element; the Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 164 (Reinforced); the Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team 1/4; and the Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 15.
The ARG-MEU team departed November 10, after completing a pre-deployment sequester and back-to-back at-sea exercises in October.
The ARG-MEU conducted more than 10,000 hours of flight operations, 6,800 launch and recoveries, and traveled more than 135,000 nautical miles of open ocean and restricted water transits.
The Makin Island ARG and 15th MEU provided numbered fleet and combatant commanders with a responsive, flexible and forward-deployed asset capable of maritime power projection, contingency operations and crisis response. Their capabilities enabled the shaping the operational environment to protect the United States and allied interests in any threat environment.