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U.S. Moves Amphibious Warship Closer to Iraq, Four U.S. Ships in the Gulf

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USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) is underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility. US Navy Photo

USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) is underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility. US Navy Photo

The U.S. is repositioning an amphibious warship closer to Iraq as the ongoing conflict between Iraqi security forces and sectarian forces intensifies, a defense official told USNI News on Monday.

USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) is in the 5th fleet area of operations and will be moving into the Persian Gulf later today, USNI News has learned.

The ship is embarked with about 550 Marines, two LCAC landing hovercraft and five MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the defense official said.
“She is going to the Arabian Gulf today. She’s going through strait today,” the official said.

Mesa Verde’s arrival will bring the U.S. ship total in the region to four — along with aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG-103).

Bush and the other two ships entered the gulf on Saturday, according to an announcement from the Navy.

The ship movements follow the increased level of violence of the Sunni insurgents of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that has pushed further south into Iraq.

“It’s always prudent for us to respond to any situation,” the official said.

Mesa Verde is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) that embarked in February with the 22 Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The ARG is composed of Mesa Verde, USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44) and USS Bataan (LHD-5).
Bataan is currently in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  • Marcd30319

    Typically, in addition to a carrier strike group, we also deploy an entire amphibious ready group, but not this time. Is this another casualty of the sequester, or more example of the lack of foresight from the current administration? b The word wonders.

  • Tim

    The USS Bataan the Wasp class ship part of the ARG you were referring to is is the Mediterranean Sea as the article states. It could transit the Suez and straits of hormuz and arrive in the Gulf in a matter of days. I’m guessing the Pentagon and administration believe that the Bataan is better placed in the Mediterranean right now to respond to contingencies in north Africa since a Nimitz class carrier is already in the gulf.

  • Dip

    International politics played by financial interests at the cost of poor. Instead of hitting the roots of ISIS i.e. destroying their financial backbones, bombing a few formations or air-dropping food & water is like bandaging a cancer patient. Such policies stinks of hidden agenda at the top level. The game goes on. Deploying 1 or 10 amphibians is not for the end results.