Home » News & Analysis » Kearsarge ARG Deploys for Europe, Middle East Operations


Kearsarge ARG Deploys for Europe, Middle East Operations

Children wave goodbye to their father, Lt. Chris Robinson, deploying aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24). Arlington deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group on Oct. 6, 2015. US Navy photo.

Children wave goodbye to their father, Lt. Chris Robinson, deploying aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24). Arlington deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group on Oct. 6, 2015. US Navy photo.

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit departed Oct. 6 from the East Coast for a deployment to the Middle East.

The more than 4,000 sailors and Marines will support theater security cooperation and maritime security operations and provide an added crisis response capability to U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations.

The ARG/MEU includes amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD-24), amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD-51),

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) as the ship departs for deploymentOct. 6, 2015. US Navy Photo

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) as the ship departs for deployment on Oct. 6, 2015. US Navy Photo


Kearsarge and the 26th MEU last deployed from March to November 2013, during a time of great unrest in the region. Kearsarge and USS San Antonio (LPD-17) spent a lot of time in the northern part of the region – operating in the Mediterranean out of Rota, Spain, and in the northern Red Sea – while USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) spent time operating independently near Bahrain and Djibouti.

Upon returning home, Kearsarge spent five months in maintenance at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair before beginning sea trials last summer. Kearsarge served as the flagship in the Bold Alligator 2014 amphibious exercise last fall.

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Categories: News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is a staff writer for USNI News. She previously covered Congress for Defense Daily and the U.S. surface navy and U.S. amphibious operations as an associate editor for Inside the Navy.

  • Curtis Conway

    G-d’s Speed Kearsarge ARG/MEU!

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Did 6 Med deployments and 2 pg ones too At least they don’t have the LST slowing them down. Do they still stop at Moorhead City? Well fair winds and following to the ARG and the MEU. May you have a boring deployment. Safe and quiet

    • John B. Morgen

      LSTs are warships from the past era, we shouldn’t be seeing them in the United States Navy, at anytime in the near future. Unless a fast-speed LST could be design and be built as a heavy vehicle transport….

      • TomD

        LSTs can’t access the number of beaches that LCACs can. We kept them as long as we did as glorified tankers to fuel vehicles and generators ashore. When we developed fuel bladders for LCAC delivery we didn’t really need LSTs anymore.

        • John B. Morgen

          LCACs have a lot more limitations than LSTs in terms of payloads, but as for access of number of beaches I find that hard to accept; unless the beaches are fortified or less sandy.

          • TomD

            LSTs can access just under 20% of the world’s beaches. LCACs can access over 80%.

          • John B. Morgen

            Your percentages are meaningless. What topography are you referring to because not all shorelines are accessible to either LSTs or LCACs.

          • disqus_zommBwspv9

            have LCAC’s ever landed under Fire?

          • TomD

            I can’t tell from Mr. Morgan’s comment which side of fortified beach issue he is on regarding LCACs. Of course, in the minds of current planners one of the points of LCACs is that their greater mobility and access to more shorelines allows them to go around fortifications, or conversely to force an opponent to spread their defenses much thinner. The whole point is to avoid WW2 style fortified beach assaults.

          • disqus_zommBwspv9

            Not talking about a fortify beachhead. Just an infantry platoon 40 soldiers with a couple Machine guns, few mortars and some RPGs an a dozen of so well place anti-tank mines using the tilt rod. Could cover a mile long LCAC landing area

          • TomD

            Of course you are right. But they would have to repeat that for 100 miles on either side of the target, and a couple of Super Cobras would limit their effectiveness in any case.

          • John B. Morgen

            As far as I know none of the United States Navy’s LCAC’s have been fired upon by enemy fire, unless the LCACs have been fired upon and the record has been classified as top secret. However, it would not take too much to destroy or damage a LCAC.

          • John B. Morgen

            Furthermore, two well placed RPG hits will take out a LCAC’s power plants because the two drive shifts are exposed. The two power plants are housed inside unarmored superstructures. Although the LCACs are a lot faster than the traditional LCUs/LCTs, but the latter has better protection than the LCACs. Therefore, the United States Navy should design and build an improved LCU/LCTs, with better but faster speed, and also a heavier payloads.

          • TomD

            Fine. Tell the Pentagon their planning is meaningless. Tell Norman Friedman that his U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History (a Naval Institute publication) is meaningless. And what is the point of your last sentence? I read is as saying that since some shorelines exist that neither LSTs nor LCACs can access, we can’t make a meaningful distinction between either. That’s absurd.

          • disqus_zommBwspv9

            I remember when the LCAC first appeared. We took one on board the LPD (Raleigh class) I was station on. plus equipment that included spare parts an a armor kit for an LCAC. About ten tons worth We were going to help the crew install the armor kit using our overhead monorail well deck cranes as a test but it got cancel for some unknown reason.

          • TomD

            It would seem obvious that the armor kit would reduce the cargo capacity by ten tons. Since the purpose of the LCAC is to evade opposition and get the most materiel to the beach, it would seem the kits hurt that purpose.

          • John B. Morgen

            Norman Friedman’s books deals only with technical histories of American warship classes. As for the Pentagon, no one there knows everything; especially, about topography below the waterline off of coastlines because the Navy does not have enough AGORs or AGSs to go around for making environmental/navigational charts. Coastlines do shift around due to natural causes that could hamper landing operations for both LSTs and LCACs. Both of these two types of warships have limitations in what areas they can unload the cargo payloads. However, in your [TomD] case, you only give meaningless percentages without any sums or physical examples. The coastlines of the world are not static—TomD…..

          • TomD

            You are the first person I have seen to state that those percentages are meaningless. You are the contrarian here and so it is you who needs to make a better case. Below waterline topography is meaningless to a LCAC, so your ‘changing topography’ argument largely fails. Finally, AGORs and AGSs are useless in peacetime if the studied nation refuses access to their 12 mile territorial waters – so that is really another argument in favor of LCACs.

          • John B. Morgen

            As for AGORs and AGS being restricted from operating inside nation-states’ territorial waters, I agree but the United States Navy have used submarines for mapping the below waterline topography without being noticed.

            All percentages without base sums are meaningless, and that is a pure fact. Percentages may sound impressive to some people, but percentages do not lead to anything without having any starting reference point(s).
            Therefore, your comment about percentages is completely meaningless.

            LCACs are ideal if the below waterline topography is at high tide and there are no obstructions above four feet. LCACs are fast and should only be use for “Blitz” at the beach-heads, but not ideal if there any man made
            obstructions. I agree that LCAC s do have some advantages over the LSTs, but modern LSTs do have some advantages too. For example, LSTs can deploy a complete panzer company, while the LCACs can only
            deploy one panzer at a time. Furthermore, LSTs have better protection from gun fire while the LCACs have no armor protection. Both amphibious warships should
            be use jointly as combined arms for amphibious assault operations.

            I apologized for the belated response, I just return home
            from being away on TDY (government business).

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Dozens of countries still use versions of the LST. Most of the Newport class LST’s that can do 20 Knots on a good day went to various countries Even the U.S. Army which has more small boats than the Coast Guard or the Navy has a smaller version which the call. LCU, but too big to go into a well deck

    • TomD

      Did you ever serve on a Newport class LST? I think they are beautiful ships in their functional way.

      • disqus_zommBwspv9

        I cross deck to the Spartanburg County 1192 for two months when they were short of Boatswain Mates (was 2nd class then) Heck of a learning experience. A nice ship, I look her up and she was sold in 95.

    • John B. Morgen

      I have always thought the Newport class LSTs were a odd design, mainly because the freeboards were much higher than the standardized American LST designs of the post-WWII era.

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  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    When I was a gator sailor. I was always bother with the lack of ASW and AAW escorts during peace time cruising. But When we did the NEO of crypus we had 3 or 4 ships from the destroyer squadron that was based out of Greece in those days. And on the Kearsarge it looks like the sides division lost the battle against running rust, check out the accommodation ladder and the side port.

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  • Seth Webber

    opsec is the best joke I’ve heard in a while… Hey everyone, make sure you don’t tell your families where we are going or when we will be back.
    *googles Kearsarge* Oh they’ll be back in exactly 7 months. They’re going to Europe for Middle East Operations? Must be the Mediterranean then.

    Good job, guys.

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