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    U.S. Marines aboard the USS San Antonio



    Story by 2nd Lt. Gerard Farao 

    26th Marine Expeditionary Unit     

    USS San Antonio, At Sea – U.S. Marines have been at sea since 1775 and the U.S. Navy has been landing Marine forces ashore since the Battle of Nassau when a battalion of Marines led by Capt. Samuel Nicholas landed on the shores of New Providence in the Bahamas, March 3, 1776, during the Revolutionary War.

    Today, Marines no longer land battalions on foreign shores using wooden row boats from wooden ships but rather, through the use of helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft, Landing Craft Air Cushion and Landing Craft Utility vessels, and Amphibious Assault Vehicles off a variety of amphibious ships.

    The newest of these ships is the San Antonio Class Amphibious Transport Dock. The first in its class, the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) is home to over 500 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit: Lima Company and Kilo Battery assigned to Battalion Landing Team 3/2; Combat Logistics Battalion 26; and a CH-53E Super Stallion detachment assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 Reinforced.

    “The MEU has a well balanced air-ground-logistics team on the San Antonio that can function independently or as a part of the larger Amphibious Ready Group. It’s a tremendous capability that offers impressive flexibility to the MEU commander,” said Lt. Col. Kevin G. Collins, a South Lyon, Mich. native, commanding officer of Combat Logistics Battalion 26, 26th MEU, and Commanding Officer of Troops aboard the USS San Antonio. “From the San Antonio, we have the capability to conduct a wide range of missions, we have the capability to not only conduct combat operations but also to perform tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, purify water, provide refueling points, explosive ordnance disposal, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, support non-combatant evacuation operations, and aid in mass casualty situations among many other things.”

    "Working as a team with the Marines of the 26th MEU, we significantly increase the capabilities we are able to provide decision makers," said Cmdr. Neil Koprowski, a Selden, N.Y., native and Commanding Officer of the USS San Antonio. "We are able to position ourselves over the horizon near areas of instability, where we will be able to most efficiently project power ashore when needed."

    “We are a team and we support each other, the Marine Corps has been on Navy ships since our inception, and our presence on ships today is a continuation of that naval tradition that made the Marine Corps what it is, from storming the beaches of New Providence, to Iwo Jima, to Inchon, and to us, today, being stationed on ships across the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready group located throughout the 5th Fleet area of responsibility ready to respond wherever and whenever a crisis may arise,” said Collins.

    The 26th MEU is currently deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group to the 5th Fleet area of operation.

    The 26th MEU operates continuously across the globe, providing the president and unified combatant commanders with a forward-deployed, sea-based quick reaction force. The MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations.



    Date Taken: 05.21.2013
    Date Posted: 05.22.2013 09:27
    Story ID: 107359
    Hometown: SELDEN, NY, US
    Hometown: SOUTH LYON, MI, US

    Web Views: 303
    Downloads: 2