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Essex Amphibious Ready Group Quietly Deployed on Tuesday with Marine F-35s

USS Essex departing Naval Station San Diego, Calif. on July 10, 2018. Photo via Facebook

This post has been updated to include a statement from U.S. Pacific Fleet.

THE PENTAGON — The three-ship Essex Amphibious Ready Group and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit left San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday with little fanfare for an expected Western Pacific and Middle East deployment, a defense official confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.

The big deck USS Essex (LHD-2), amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD-23) and dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD-47) departed for an routine deployment with a squadron of Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters from the Wake Island Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, the official confirmed to USNI News.

“The Essex Amphibious Ready Group with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit got underway from San Diego, Tuesday,” Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Charlie Brown said in a Thursday statement to USNI News. “For reasons of operational security, we are not publicly disclosing any additional details.”

The deployment is the first for Marine Joint Strike Fighters from the U.S., following a short float of Japan-based “Green Knights” of VMFA-121 on the forward-deployed amphibious warship USS Wasp (LHD-1) in March.

The Marine F-35Bs aboard Essex are set to bring a drastically expanded set of capabilities to the ARG/MEU beyond the more-than-30-year-old design of the AV-8B Harrier II that makes up the bulk of the Marines’ strike inventory.

“With the new aircraft, we want to be able to capitalize on all the capability that aircraft has to bear, like multi-functional data links, how do we get that information from that airplane to the ship so we can use it,” Capt. Gerald Olin, Amphibious Squadron 1 commander and commodore of the Essex ARG, said in February. “That also gives me additional command-and-control capability.”

While the Marines have widely publicized the F-35Bs on Essex, the departure of the ARG/MEU was not announced publicly before the ships left San Diego. Typically, the service alerts media in advance of deployments for those interested in covering the departure events, as well as sends a separate announcement once the ships formally deploy. Numerous social media posts on Facebook and Twitter – posted by private citizens, not military-affiliated accounts – showed sailors and Marines manning the rails of the ships of the ARG as they departed San Diego.

Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet. US Navy Photo

The decision to not announce the departure of the about 5,000 sailors and Marines were made at the discretion of the new U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. John Aquilino, two sources familiar with the behind-the-scenes conversations on the preparations told USNI News on Thursday. The communications move was designed to change the expectations on what information the public could expect when ships in the Pacific area of operations deploy, the sources told USNI News.

A San Diego-based Navy official would not confirm to USNI News when called on Thursday if Essex was in port, citing a new Pacific Fleet policy that was not elaborated on.

  • RunningBear

    Naw!, they didn’t really sail, it wasn’t announced!…..heh, heh, heh…..

    It is encouraging to see this comment;

    “With the new aircraft, we want to be able to capitalize on all the capability that aircraft has to bear, like multi-functional data links, how do we get that information from that airplane to the ship so we can use it,”
    …., one presumes that the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) linkage is completed to the 3 ships of the ARG and can provide area situational data not unlike the E-2D but only more capable. IR/ Radar/ EMF assessment with device (a/c, ship, system) location, identification and tracking all in a LPD/ LPI communication system.

    • Rocco

      Agreed my only concern is why no DDG as an escort??

      • Terr Bee

        Waiting… out there…. somewhere… already, perhaps?

        • Rocco

          Ahhh no it would of been mentioned in the article!!

      • Masau80

        ARGs deploy alone and unafraid again. The ESG concept had attached surface combatants, but the Navy has gone away from that. With the Marines getting away from desert warfare and back to traditional capabilities – the ARG is fully sufficient to support that mission.

        • Rocco

          Not in agreement!! It’s not to say ARG can’t perform its mission!! That’s not the point here!! A DDG is needed for support of any kind!! Especially if a aircraft crashes, man over board etc!! You millennials just don’t get it.

          • Masau80

            One of the reasons that the ESG concept was discontinued and the Navy went back to tradition, was that there simply isn’t enough surface combatants to go around. 11 CSGs (building to 12), FDNF, and BMD missions consume all the available DDGs. LCS was never envisioned to deploy as part of any group – and just doesn’t have the legs, or value added, to get beyond a littoral base. The ARG has plenty of helicopters for routine safety considerations around the boat.

          • Rocco

            I agree on the LCS ! However with 64 Burke’s in inventory I can’t see how we can’t spare one or 2. Helos can’t fly in all conditions!! Something to consider as I know by experience. Depending on the situation should a crash occurs while a landing or launch , a helo can’t respond unless it’s in the air already. This is why we had an escort trail about a mile behind us.

          • Masau80

            With 11 ARGs, sparing 1 or 2 DDGs for planeguard is a significant chunk of the total force. The CSGs deploy with 3 or 4. For 30 years prior to the advent of the ESG concept, ARGs deployed as a 3-4 amphib ship force. We’ve just gone back to that. Pretty sure the planeguard role still exists in the CSG.

          • Rocco

            Well it’s been that long & then some since I’ve been out! But besides plane guard the ship is also tracking the air , surface & below surface. Heck an LCS could handle plane guard.

          • Masau80

            That was the intent of the ESGs – along with power projection (Tomahawks). Just that there literally aren’t enough ships to go around – which gave birth to the LCS fiasco. LCS is not nor ever will be a Blue Water deployer. The new Gators have CEC and the F-35s are NIFC-CA capable – so the air picture can be maintained without an Aegis tethered to the ARG.

          • Rocco

            The LCS freedom did search & rescue when MH-60 went down in some pretty rough water.

      • Secundius

        Destroyers were already Forward Deployed! Link-Up’s are to occur when USS Essex crosses their respective paths. Destroyers, are coming from San Diego, Hawai’i, Japan, South China Sea and Indo/Pacific area…

        • Rocco

          OK but does’nt make sense to me for them to transit unescorted. But at least it’s gonna happen. Should of been mentioned here in the article.

          • Secundius

            Destroyer from San Diego was deployed three days earlier somewhere near California Coast for “Unspecified Test”. Whether the Test was a Rouse to get the Destroyer deployed Unnoticed is a possibility, considering no trawlers of Mysterious Origin were spotted…

          • Rocco

            Interesting. Good detective work!!

          • Secundius

            My “Heckles” were aroused too, so I Back-Tracked one month to see what was deployed from where. Took most of the Night to do it. In all ~37-ships are involved, margin of error being one or two ships that had “Legitimate” Testing and/or Training schedules, near South China Sea…

          • Rocco

            Appreciate the effort!

          • Secundius

            Try some of the “Merchant Marine” websites, sometimes they Overlap Naval websites and tell you things, not told on Naval websites. That’s how I found out where and by whom the USS John McCain was being repaired by…

          • Rocco

            Interesting

      • NavySubNuke

        Have no fear – the DDGs are there — they just aren’t mentioned in this article. You don’t send 3 HVUs to sail around without a shooter (or three) to protect them.

        • Rocco

          Agreed!! It’s seems not to be the consensus here!! Thanks NSN

    • Graeme Rymill

      Still a long way to go. In a February 2018 interview with the Commandant of the Marine Corps the Commandant stated that his top priority would be command, control, and networking upgrades to fully exploit the capabilities of the F-35. “Right now we’re not even close to having that discussion with some of our amphibs, particularly the big deck amphibs,” Neller said…… “We’re putting a fifth gen airplane on that amphib and we’re running a less than fifth gen command and control suite.” Reading between the lines this suggests that MADL linkage with the Amphibs is still unfunded.

      • Rocco

        Possible!! Don’t believe everything you read & hear!! Not that the good general is not of integrity! Just not letting the need to know for now!!

  • Bubblehead

    Squardron? Hummm….. A Marine squadron is 12 jets correct? That is a lot of jets for a LHD. If it carries all 12 F35 B’s I wonder what effect that has on the other helicopters it still has to hold. CH53’s aren’t exactly small. UH1’s. Cobra’s. I imagine somewhere they had to compromise and reduce some other aviation assets?

    • Rocco

      It’s been done before but not normal. Usually 6 with a spare. It wouldn’t have CH-53 or 46 or osprey on board.

    • Secundius

      Composite Squadrons are smaller than Standard Squadrons. In the case of the F-35B’s, the Squadron size is only 6 F-35B’s. But rumors claim that Composite Squadron for the F-36B will change from 6 aircraft’s to 9 aircraft’s…

  • Rocco

    Thanks for the reply! I know normally they aren’t!! But in today’s day & age no reason why an ARG shouldn’t. Even a sub near by. With F-35B:S aboard it can make for a formidable mini carrier group!

    • Graeme Rymill

      The DDGs appear to be over-tasked as it is if the feedback from the 2 collisions is to be believed.

      • Rocco

        That’s a lame reason!! It’s what they were built for!!

        • Graeme Rymill

          Build more DDGs!

          • Rocco

            Yeah OK troll!!

          • Graeme Rymill

            Always a pleasure Rocco! 🙂

          • Rocco

            Well what do you expect with a comment like that!! I’ve sailed with carrier battle groups in all seas except below the equator. So you can’t tell me how it works here. I can’t reply to your comments to me above as it has no reply key. So I will comment here. I know what an amphibious assault ship is capable of. I’ve toured 4 of the WASP class. It is my belief & concern they get a DDG escort!! No further discussion needed.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Aye Aye Sir! [Clicks heels together and gives Rocco a crisp salute]

          • Rocco

            Whatever

  • USMCMom

    Keep them safe. I have precious cargo on board.

    • Rocco

      Semper Fi!!

    • SemperFiMoM

      Me too, USMCMoM🇺🇸 Love and Prayers to You, and Yours. ❤ (our cargo’s, maybe know each other?) 😂

  • Graeme Rymill

    When an F-35 was used to cue a SM-6 to destroy a MQM-107 target ,as a test of the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air concept, MADL was used. On September 13, 2016 USNI News reported “The unmodified F-35 picked up the target with its own sensors and routed the track via the fighter’s Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL pronounced: MAHdel) to the Navy’s USS Desert Ship (LLS-1) test platform running the Baseline 9 Aegis Combat System. Lockheed and the Navy attached a MADL antenna to the combat system to receive the track
    information that fed the information to the SM-6.” You have the wrong idea about CANES: it is an upgrade for the internal computer network of ships not for external data transfer of sensor and targeting data. CANES is not an integral part of
    NIFC-CA.

    • Rocco

      Good point

      • Graeme Rymill

        It is my belief & concern that Duane is wrong!! No further discussion needed.

        • Rocco

          Lol copy that!! He’s wrong about everything!! Including he claims he served on SSN 637! Pre LA class!!

  • Rocco

    Wrong harriers & F-35’s won’t deploy on the same ship!! The ship regardless of air wings aboard will never have a configuration without 2 MH -60’s for air rescue missions.

    • USMCMom

      Question, is it typical for this many F35’s to be on this ship? Trying to read between the lines and understand what is typical vs not.

      • Rocco

        It’s depends mom ! …Lol the WASP class normally goes out with 6 Harriers. The F-35’B is its replacement & in transition So this is a 1st historically. The rest is its normal mix of vertical launch osprey & Helos of about 22 total. However when we launched air assaults over lybia the MEU configuration was all Harrier strike with Huey assistance.

        • USMCMom

          Thank you.

          • Rocco

            Sure thing. BTW I forgot to mention our new America class air assault ship based off the WASP class mainly in size. Internally she has no well deck. So inside is a larger hangar bay. It’s propulsion is a hybrid powerplant turbine engines . She can accommodate a full 2 Squadron’s of F-35B’s if needed. Like a modern Essex class size CVL in WW-2 as a straight deck ship.

  • Graeme Rymill

    Hold your horses there young Duane! First you say “MADL is not for air to ship comms”. Then when I point out that USNI News has said exactly that has happened in a test you simply skate over that? Where’s the acknowledgement from you that in fact MADL air to ship communications is possible? Why do you think the Navy bothered to use MADL for this trial if CANES is the goto datalink for NIFC-CA?

  • Graeme Rymill

    “NIFC-CA generally relies on the Link-16 data link to connect the ships,
    planes and weapons involved in the detect-to-kill process. F-35,
    however, uses a Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) instead, which
    would require a new antenna on the destroyers that will launch a missile
    based on what the F-35B senses. Sheridan said Lockheed Martin has
    conceptual designs for where to put the MADL antenna on the ship but
    needs to refine and test those ideas.”
    Gosh no mention of CANES! How odd is that! 🙂 From USNI News March 22, 2017 article entitled “Lockheed Martin: F-35/NIFC-CA Live Fire Test In 2018”

  • muzzleloader

    Nice picture of the Essex standing out to sea on what could be a shot from
    WW2. One could envision some Wildcats and SBD’s on the flight deck!

    • Rocco

      What picture?

    • Secundius

      I noticed that too! The “Essex” did look a lot like a WWII “Essex” class Aircraft Carrier…

      • Rocco

        Yes agreed. The America class more so!! What’s old is new again!! Now if we only had 20 America class we’d be in good shape!!

        • Secundius

          I don’t know if that was by Accident or by a “Serendipitous” design requirement of the Specified Ships design. But then maybe not serendipitous after all, and by design. WWII Essex’s was ~872-feet by 147.5-feet, virtually a near match in size…

          • Rocco

            Yes…..As lead ship The WASP class are named after the Essex class!! Which in my opinion the same should of been carried over to the America class that haven’t been used!! Out of 24 built! 2 types on Essex class long & short hull. Long being Ticonderoga class. It’s been my argument since America was commissioned that it & subsicant ships be built at least 35′ feet longer. Heck the Essex class were even stretched to 900′ including the bow bridle breaks!

  • Rocco

    I already answered her question!! What you had to add was asked & answered!! So stop trying to upstage me!!!

  • Ed L

    I always thought a DDG and a couple of Frigates would be nice company for an ARG..

  • Graeme Rymill

    I was working on the assumption that Rocco wanted DDGs permanently assigned to ARGs. I merely pointed out that there is evidence that the DDGs are fully stretched performing existing tasks – one of those tasks being attached to ARGs on an ad hoc basis as I mentioned in my initial reply to Rocco.

    • Rocco

      I never said permanently!! Look where it’s going!! It’s not going on a training mission or ARG making quals!

      • Graeme Rymill

        Let’s recap:. You initially said “why no DDG?”. I said they are not always assigned to ARGs but only sometimes depending on the mission and that a DDG may be picked up at Pearl Harbor. You said you know that but but “in today’s day & age no reason why an ARG shouldn’t”. I figure from your “in today’s day & age no reason why an ARG shouldn’t” comment you want DDGs permanently attached to ARGs. I give a reason possibly why not – “DDGs over-tasked”. You go ballistic. There you go: a simple story, simply told! Let us never speak of this again. 🙂

        • Rocco

          Let’s recap: really!!! Well I never said I know that…… That a DDG could be picked up from PH!! Your implying that!! Or you can’t comprehend!! And I never said I personally want an ARG to permanently have a DDG!!! not every time it leaves port! However if it’s going on a long deployment it (ARG ) , should have one!!! Jackwagon!!! How would you know if DDG’s are over tasked? They are ships of war!! Not F….N toys idiot!!

    • Duane

      Yes, I agree with you that a permanent assignment is not needed.

      What a lot of folks do not understand is the networked Naval force. Networking and linking individual ships together with sensor nodes from a range of platforms (air, land, sea, and space) allows much more disaggregated fleet ops. That is opposed to the aggregated strike group concept that has predominated in Navy op doctrine for decades. By enabling effective and safe disaggregated ops, NIFCCA allows the Navy the flexibility to temporarily aggregate combatants on a mission-specific basis – such as temporarily adding a DDG and 1 or 2 LCS to an ARG landing marines for combat – then afterward, the temporary escorts are free to disaggregate, or to join a different ARG or CSG on a different mission.

      Networking enables much greater flexibility in fleet ops. As Sec. Mattis puts it, “the Navy must change from being predictable to being predictably unpredictable.”

  • Masau80

    And the other 2/3s are in the training pipeline, or in long-term maintenance. They are just not tied to the pier waiting to deploy. Takes three to put one over the horizon. A couple DDGs would not prevent missile attacks, submarine attacks, and mine detonations all at the same time. A contested amphibious assault would be a coordinated – Fleet – operation.

    • Duane

      The most likely escort for an ARG landing troops would be a combination of DDG and LCS. The DDG to provide air and missile defense, one LCS to provide ASW and SuW, and if the landing area is potentially mined, cleared by another LCS with MCM module.

      And yes, such an escort would provide effective defense to a valuable ARG.

  • Graeme Rymill

    So when Capt. Olin in the article above says ““With the new aircraft, we want to be able to capitalize on all the
    capability that aircraft has to bear, like multi-functional data links,
    how do we get that information from that airplane to the ship so we can
    use it” what do you think he is talking about? When the Commandant of the Marines says “the F-35 is a very capable airplane, but it’s got to be able to network.
    It will not realize its capability unless you can network that thing.
    You’ve got to exchange information not just between other airplanes, but
    (with) the ships that are in the fleet and….the force that’s going to
    go ashore.” just what is he talking about? They are talking about datalinks between the F-35 and Navy ships and that datalink can only either be MADL or Link-16. What else is there? That is why the Navy is experimenting with MADL and NIFC-CA and SM-6 missiles. Even you appear to accept that CANES is not a datalink.

    • Duane

      Link 16 is the standard for tactical data comms in all US military units. It is long range and omnidirectional, and is installed in most aircraft, ships, and land based units. The downside of link 16 is that any aircraft transmitting on it can be picked up by any receiver and triangulated to give away the transmitter location. That of course is a much bigger problem on an aircraft like the F-35 that depends upon stealth for its mission. Hence MADL was developed, and uses a short range directional signal that cannot be triangulated, with its primary role for comms between F-35s on a mission.

      NIFCCA does not depend upon F-35s (as of today, F-35C is not even operational yet … it goes IOC next fiscal year), nor does NIFCCA depend upon stealth. Other than pre-operational F-35s, no naval aircraft have or ever will have MADL. The Air Force has not even put MADL on its other stealth aircraft, the F-22.

      Again, to have a network you must have BOTH remote nodes, and a computer backbone. On naval ships, the backbone on each ship is, or eventually will be, CANES. The Navy projects a minimum if 190 installations of CANES, but that number will grow.

      On the airborne side, each F-35 also already has its version of the computer backbone already built in. No other attack aircraft on the planet has such a computer backbone installed. So an individual F-35 can function like a CANES-equipped, AEGIS/COMBATTS-21 equipped surface ship in acquiring its own sensor data, accepting off-platform sensor data, processing that data, and retransmitting that data via either or both of Link 16 and MADL to other nodes in the network.

      It’s all rather complex, and to be fully implemented throughout the entire sea and air fleets will require installing both hardware and software, doing a lot of systems integration, and a lot of crew training and testing.

      • Graeme Rymill

        “It’s all rather complex”… The reality is much simpler. As Capt. Olin the article above emphasizes the amphibs need to have a way of getting the F-35 sensor data down to them so they can use it. There is no current way of doing this (see my quotes from the Marine Commandant). What are the possible solutions? One is to develop a new datalink that has long range and is hard to jam or intercept, and can transfer huge amounts of data. Another is to use some sort of gateway or intermediary to receive F-35 data and pass it on to the amphibs. The E-2D can apparently do this using Link 16 but as you correctly point out Link 16 has critical problems for the F-35 plus E-2D may not necessarily be available to an ARG. What the Navy is exploring, perhaps only as an interim measure, is attaching MADL antennas to ships and receiving the sensor data directly. Why spend millions on firing SM-6 missiles and using target drones if MADL is fundamentally unworkable for F-35 to ship data transfer? In fact there is no fundamental barrier to direct F-35 MADL to ship data transfer. In a 2014 interview with Fred Cheney, then a director of business development for Northrop
        Grumman Information Systems Communications Division, he stated “There is no reason you cannot put MADL on ships, on other planes or on ground receivers.” Your original statement “”MADL is not for air to ship comms” is simply wrong and nothing you have said since changes that.

        • Duane

          Any F-35 can talk to an amphib with a Link 16 installed, as most or all (at least all of the aviation amphibs) do. But again as I have repeatedly tried to explain to you, if the amphib has a data management system that cannot process and use the data, then that is what the Admiral is talking about. To be able to process the data and do something with it (such as to fire a missile, or to redirect the data to another platform in the fleet) requires CANES as a network backbone, plus also a combat data management system that operates off the backbone. For warships that do not have AEGIS, the solution for the latter is COMBATTS-21, an AEGIS derivative. But COMBATTS-21 just went operational 2 years ago, with the first installations only on the Freedom class LCS. The Navy plans to install and integrate COMBATTS-21 on all of its combatant ships that do not have AEGIS, but that is going to take years.

          And yes, this is in fact very complicated. If it were easy and simple the admiral would not have made his comments and NIFCCA would have been a done deal many years ago.

          Words to live by:

          “Everything looks easy when you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

          • Graeme Rymill

            You say “Any F-35 can talk to an amphib with a Link 16 installed,”
            In a previous post you say:”The downside of link 16 is that any aircraft transmitting on it can be
            picked up by any receiver and triangulated to give away the transmitter
            location. That of course is a much bigger problem on an aircraft like
            the F-35 that depends upon stealth for its mission.” The key to the F-35’s success is that is it low-observable. So your recommended solution to the F-35 to amphib data problem is that the F-35 throws away its low observability and broadcasts to the amphibs via Link-16 all the critical sensor data it is collecting? Give me a break!
            Words to live by:

            “There are none so blind as those that will not see”

      • Graeme Rymill

        “as of today, F-35 is not even operational yet … it goes IOC next fiscal year” The F-35A and F-35B have both had IOC declared. So you must be talking about the F-35C. So what? This discussion is actually about getting F-35B data down to amphibs. It isn’t about NIFC-CA. I only brought up an NIFC-CA test using a F-35 as an example of the potential for MADL to be used to fill the void in F-35B to amphib data transfer. Oh, and it isn’t about CANES either because CANES isn’t installed on F-35s. The mere existence of CANES, excellent and critical technology that it is, doesn’t solve the F-35B to amphib data problem.

        “Other than pre-operational F-35s, no naval aircraft have or ever will have MADL”
        What does this even mean? What happens to post-operational F-35s? Are you suggesting they have MADL removed? All F-35s have MADL including the F-35Cs the Navy and the Marines will operate off carriers. In a few years the only fast jet the amphibs will have will be the F-35B with MADL. I suggest that MADL is the only effective solution in the near term to getting F-35B sensor data onto the amphibs network

  • Rocco

    Ah excuse me!! Where do you think the ship is going that it wouldn’t need an escort??

  • Rocco

    Is he??? ………… You know old!? Agreed a full of beans idiot!!

  • Rocco

    Well I’m in that boat!! So I guess I’m old lol. Don’t you go back aways?

    • NavySubNuke

      No way – we’ve had this conversation before. I’m in my 30s and still serving.
      Look – Duane boy came and flagged all my messages again.
      It really is hilarious what a thin skinned troll he is. All bluster and whining but not a single coherent or rational thought.

      • Rocco

        Seems Colin likes him!!

  • Rocco

    Looks like your Zumwalt had a major engine breakdown…… Again!! LOL

  • SemperFiMoM

    Oh Goodness, Silly Boys!!!! Everyone is Right, Everyone is wrong. Let’s just focus on what really matters, Yeah? I have PRECIOUS CARGO on that ship! 💔😓 My Marine Son……Along with someone’s Daddy, Husband, Brother, Uncle, Friend……etc. So how about stand with me, and support them, and their Loved ones they left behind, with…..Love and Prayers to All, for a Fast and Safe Return! 💙 And a Huge Thank You, Love and Prayers To You All, for your Service, and unending knowledge! Vets, The Ones Currently Serving, and those preparing to serve! I’m forever grateful! 🇺🇸❤

    • Duane

      Madam, our thoughts and prayers are with your son and with all who go down to the sea in ships to defend our nation.

      We have the finest military in the world. But the threats to our security are multiplying and the debates are over what we are doing, and plan to do, to make sure we can defeat those threats at minimum cost in our warriors’ lives. Besides being a vet myself, I have “kids” on active duty today, so we are in this together.

      • Rocco

        Why would you say something like that to her???? She has enough worries you idiot!! Besides you said it wrong 1st paragraph.

        • SemperFiMoM

          ❤Awwww, thanks for your concern, Rocco! But it’s ok, I’m sure he meant no harm. And I’ll be ok….. I’m tough 💪 (if not, Tougher, than my son. 😝) I raised an US Infantry Marine, ya know. He’s squad leader and Sgt. At the young age of 21 😊 ….I have to trust in him, and all his training, that he’s gonna get through this just fine and be home soon. And if not…..we’ll, I promise to try and remain just as strong, if not stronger…….besides, I got all you guys, now. (extended military family) for support Yeah? I’m gonna worry about him regardless of what he doing and where he is. Just like I worry bout all 5 of my kiddos…..Just a mama/parent thing, I guess. 😉

          • Rocco

            Please don’t rely on all on this blog to be your extended family! 5 boys !! OMG you’re a super mom alright!! Kudos to you dear!

      • SemperFiMoM

        Yes, Duane, we are!🇺🇸💪 And I Thank You for your Service, along with an extended Thank You to your Children, who are currently serving. . . ❤

    • Rocco

      Kudos!! MOM!! Just pay no mind , this goes on all the time!

      • SemperFiMoM

        😊No worries.

        • Rocco

          Hey mom get with the program!! This post is almost a month old FYI!!😉

          • SemperFiMoM

            Lol Oh Goodness, I know….shame on me. Been working so much overtime, lately, I don’t even know what day it is. 😂 Fill me in….what’s the New News? Anything? And I posted a concern, yes I know, I’m behind….But did you see it? About this particular deployment being ‘quiet’ yet posted all over social media? That concerns me a bit. Calm my anxious heart and thoughts. Pls?

          • Rocco

            Hmm I’d love to in person!! Over coffee!! I love to Fly & ride!!

          • SemperFiMoM

            Lol Coffee?! Pfft! I’m A ‘MoM’ remember. Whos Marine is deployed! To heck with a cup of coffee…..This MoM needs a shot of whiskey! 😂😂😂😂😂

          • Rocco

            Well I didn’t want you to think that I was gonna take advantage of you!! Lol🤔?? 🍻

      • SemperFiMoM

        Rocco, THIS. 💔😞 “Search Underway in Sulu Sea for Marine Missing from USS Essex”

        • Rocco

          Yes I know ! Very sad!!😥

        • SemperFiMoM

          💔 Yes….yes it is. And they shipped out, just a short time ago. . . .