Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) Bataan left Naval Station Norfolk, Va. for an eight month deployment on Saturday.
The more than 4,000 sailors and Marines from the ARG and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit left from Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va. and Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The ARG is composed of USS Bataan (LHD-5), amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44). The ships departed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) for a deployment to the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Bataan returned from an unexpected almost year-long deployment in 2012. According to a report in the Navy Times, two thirds of the crew that left Saturday were on the 2012 cruise.