Iwo Jima ARG Ready to Answer Call

By Captain Timothy L. Schorr
Commodore, Amphibious Squadron Eight
Greetings from Amphibious Squadron 8!
After months of hard work and preparation, the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group is ready to deploy, and I could not be more excited or proud. We’ve done the drills, demonstrated proficiency in warfighting, integrated with our Marine brothers and sisters of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and now it’s time to take the watch.
ATLANTIC OCEAN:The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21), left, and the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) participate in a simulated straight transit during a pre-deployment exercise.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21), left, and the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) participate in a simulated straight transit during a pre-deployment exercise.

The ships and the more than 2,500 Sailors serving in the amphibious ready group have surpassed all my expectations in preparation for this deployment. We demonstrated proficiency during the three underway training periods leading up to this deployment and, after some well-deserved time off with our families and friends, we are ready to “hit the deck plates running,” as they say in our line of work.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) follow the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) follow the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

Alongside our Marine counterparts, USS Iwo Jima, USS New York, and USS Fort McHenry will be supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. Although we never look forward to leaving our families behind, we are looking forward to the opportunity to put all of our training and preparations into practice.

Our Amphibious Ready Group is capable of executing an impressive mission set. From major combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, we are ready for anything that comes our way.

As many of you have seen or heard on the news in the recent months, the U.S. Navy has never been more relevant. The forward and flexible presence that the amphibious ready group provides is unique and necessary. We are ready to respond to emergent tasking around the globe to provide critically needed capabilities. The Iwo Jima ARG is ready to answer the call!

I am very proud of our Sailors for all their hard work in preparation for this deployment. I am exceedingly appreciative of the outstanding support provided by the families and loved ones of IWOARG’s Sailors. We couldn’t do what we do without them and I want to ensure our families that we will keep you informed during the deployment. I encourage all family members to use the support systems in place for you should you have any issues or concerns while we are deployed.

We’re excited to get underway, have a successful deployment in service of our nation and to return home to our loved ones! Go Navy!

An aerial view of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) conducting flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean, March 9, 2014. Iwo Jima was conducting flight deck certification in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer/Released)

An aerial view of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) conducting flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean, March 9, 2014. Iwo Jima was conducting flight deck certification in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Iwo Jima ARG Ready to Answer Call