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Navy: Budget Fight Will Not Delay Kearsarge ARG Deployment

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A Royal Navy airman stands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) while an MV-22 Osprey takes off. US Navy Photo

A Royal Navy airman stands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) while an MV-22 Osprey takes off. US Navy Photo

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) has completed it’s final major training qualification before the three ships depart for Middle East and the Mediterranean in March, a U.S. Fleet Forces spokesman told USNI News on Tuesday.

Though some naval deployments risk being curtailed by the ongoing problems with the Continuing Resolution and the threat of sequestration, The Kearsarge ARG combined with the U.S. Marine Corps 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) look likely to sail.

“Every indicator we have shows Kearsarge will deploy as scheduled,” Lt. Cmdr. Brian Badura of Fleet Forces said Tuesday.

The ARG/MEU is composed of USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD-17), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50).

The Kearsarge ARG/MEU completed its Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) on Sunday. The three week exercise tested how the individual components and units of the Kearsarge ARG/MEU work together before a deployment.

An AV-8B Harrier from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Rein.) lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3). US Navy Photo

An AV-8B Harrier from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Rein.) lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3). US Navy Photo