DUQM, Oman, –
DUQM, Oman – Elements of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), including the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) and embarked elements of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), pulled into Duqm, Oman for a scheduled port visit in support of logistics and maintenance, March 23-29.
The port call marked the first time a large deck amphibious ship visited Duqm this year.
While this was a working port visit, Sailors and Marines had a number of opportunities to rest and unwind in each ship’s separate and designated liberty areas on the pier. These activities were planned and carried out in full compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DOD) and host nation COVID-19 mitigation measures.
“I am proud of the crews of the ARG, as well as the embarked Marines of the 15th MEU, while deployed these many months,” said Navy Capt. Stewart Bateshansky, commodore, amphibious squadron three. “We thank the Sultanate of Oman for supporting our sustainment visit and affording us a safe area to give our crews some needed rest and relaxation.”
Makin Island ARG and 15th MEU leadership also greeted U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman Leslie Tsou on the pier, and provided a socially distanced overview brief of the units’ capabilities.
Makin Island and Somerset have been deployed since January in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), along with amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) and additional elements of the 15th MEU. The Makin Island ARG and embarked 15th MEU have been operating in the Arabian Gulf since Jan. 22, supporting security and stability in cooperation with regional and coalition partners.
The 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Sea of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.