Dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group (IWO ARG), departed Aqaba, Jordan, June 28, after a scheduled port visit in support of sustainment and logistics. Carter Hall’s visit to Jordan followed a three-week underway in the Red Sea with the IWO ARG, which included a joint passing exercise with Egyptian Navy guided-missile frigate ENS Taba (F 916), landing craft, utility (LCU) operations, landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) operations, a live-fire exercise and various training evolutions designed to keep the crew at maximum readiness.
Carter Hall is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic chokepoints.
“Carter Hall’s return to Aqaba saw the safe and smooth recovery of our disembarked Marines and their equipment,” said Cmdr. LaDonna Simpson, commanding officer of Carter Hall. “We are grateful to Jordan for hosting us once more. Carter Hall is ready to tackle the next objective due to the support we received while in Jordan.”
The combined IWOARG and 24th MEU have roughly 4,300 Sailors and Marines. The IWOARG consists of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), Carter Hall (LSD 50) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17). Embarked detachments for the Iwo Jima ARG include Amphibious Squadron Four, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) Six, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21, Naval Beach Group (NBG) Two, Beach Master Unit (BMU) Two, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) Two and Four, and Sailors from Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) Two.
The 24th MEU mission is to provide the United States with a forward-deployed, amphibious force-in-readiness capable of executing missions across the full spectrum of combat and military operations other than war, and consists of four basic elements, the Command Element, Ground Combat Element, Air Combat Element and the Logistics Combat Element. The unit consists of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/8, a logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 24, and an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron (VMM) 162 Reinforced.