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Iwo Jima ESG Operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet
The Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group continued their transit into the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations as part of a deployment in support of NATO-led exercise Trident Juncture 2018.
The strike group will join the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group and the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) to comprise the U.S. ship support to the exercise.
“We are excited to participate in Trident Juncture 18, which demonstrates the capabilities of a multinational amphibious force,” said Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Rear Adm. Brad Skillman. “Conducting an exercise of this scope provides the opportunity to improve interoperability, not only among the amphibious force, but NATO as a whole.”
Trident Juncture is designed to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. With 31 allies and partners participating, it will be one of NATO’s largest exercises in recent years.
The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) departed from the east coast of the United States Oct. 2-3. The nearly 2,000 Marines with a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, built around the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit command element from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, are also embarked on the ships.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.