Atlantic Ocean - The Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), entered the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations July 3.
While in theater, more than 4,000 Sailors and Marines of the ARG and 22nd MEU will train with international militaries and help ensure naval superiority in the AOO.
"This ARG is here to advance the security of the 6th Fleet maritime environment. The Sailors and Marines aboard our ships will be working and training alongside international partners and they will be ensuring that these seas remain free to international commerce." - Capt. F. Byron Ogden, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 6
"We have been preparing for months for this deployment. Our crew is ready and our ship is ready. We are here to complete any mission that our nation calls upon us to carry out." - Capt. Andy Smith, commanding officer, USS Wasp (LHD 1)
Amphibious Ready Groups are capable of a variety of operations from anti-piracy to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Wasp, the flagship of the ARG, is deployed for the first time in over 10 years. After a rigorous training cycle and upgrades to the ship's combat systems, the ship and its crew arrive equipped to exercise all of its capabilities.
The Wasp ARG is comprised of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6, the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Wasp, amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41).
Also embarked on the Wasp ARG are Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4, and Beach Master Unit (BMU) 2.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.