The amphibious assault ship Bataan and two other ships carrying more than 4,000 sailors and Marines departed Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to provide security and crisis response in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. (Seaman Jessica Pounds/Navy)
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NORFOLK, VA. — More than 4,000 sailors and Marines belonging to the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group will head out Saturday on a scheduled deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleets, where they will help with security, crisis response and other missions, the Navy said.
This ARG made history in February 2012 when it ended one of the longest deployments ó 322 days ó in nearly 40 years. That float started three months ahead of schedule and supported operations in the European, African and Central Command areas.
The amphibious assault ship Bataan and amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde were part of that deployment and are two of three ships departing Saturday. The duo was joined by the dock landing ship Whidbey Island in the 2011-12 deployment, but that mission goes to Gunston Hall this time.
Bataan and Mesa Verde call Norfolk home, while the Gunston Hallís home port is Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
The ARG will include the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.