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    USS Arlington (LPD 24) arrives in Visby, Sweden

    VISBY, Sweden (Sept. 6, 2022) – The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), assigned to the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Visby, Sweden for a scheduled port visit, Sept. 6, 2022.

    Arlington’s continued presence in Sweden demonstrates the strong and enduring relationships the ARG-MEU fosters with NATO allies and partners in the Baltic region.

    Earlier this year, elements of the Kearsarge ARG, including the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and flagship of the ARG, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), participated in the joint, annual multinational exercise Baltic Operations 2022 (BALTOPS22) hosted by Sweden. The ARG-MEU team was given the opportunity to demonstrate maritime capabilities alongside sixteen other nations at sea and demonstrate U.S.-Swedish combined amphibious capabilities for the first time together on Gotland Island.

    Last week, the Kearsarge ARG-MEU, including Arlington, participated in a bilateral training opportunity with Swedish Armed Forces where maritime and amphibious operations were conducted to maintain unit readiness as a cohesive partnering force. During this training opportunity, the ARG-MEU team and Swedish forces conducted combined training events such as ship to shore operations, a raid in Ravlunda, and an airfield seizure ashore. At sea, ARG ships conducted subject matter expert exchanges and maneuvering drills increasing overall effectiveness and interoperability.

    “Eariler this summer, elements of the Kearsarge ARG-MEU participated in BALTOPS22 and most recently a bilateral training event with Sweden,” said Capt. Aaron Kelley, Commander of the Kearsarge ARG and Amphibious Squadron SIX. “Sweden has demonstrated high levels of maritime and amphibious capabilities as we’ve worked together toward our shared commitment of a safe and secure Baltic region.”

    Coinciding with the exercise and unique to BALTOPS22 was Sweden’s celebration of their Navy’s 500th anniversary where Kearsarge and Gunston Hall celebrated the kick-off of BALTOPS22 in Stockholm, Sweden. While in port, Kearsarge hosted a key leader engagement aboard the ship including Swedish leadership such as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, Erik Ramanathan; Swedish Minister of Defense, Peter Hultqvist; and Swedish Armed Forces General Micael Byden in addition to the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.

    “As Stockholm previously hosted all three ARG ships this year, Visby is first in its area to host a ship of Arlington’s size,” said Capt. Kelley. “The greatest outcome working with Sweden this summer has been the continued support and hospitality the country has given the ARG-MEU team during our time in the Baltics. These port visits and interoperabilities alone emphasize our combined capabilities as a cohesive partnered force.”

    Most recently, the Kearsarge ARG-MEU team participated in a maneuvering drill as part of the U.S.-Swedish bilateral training event which included the Swedish Visby-class corvette HSwMS Härnösand (K33), the Swedish Visby-class corvette HSwMS Nyköping (K34), the Swedish Carlskrona-class auxiliary support ship HSwMS Carlskrona (P04the Swedish Stockholm-class corvette HSwMS Malmö (P 12), the
    Swedish Visby-class corvette HSwMS Karlstad (K35), and the Swedish Visby-class corvette HSwMS Helsingborg (K32).

    “The Kearsarge ARG-MEU just completed a 10-day complex integrated exercise with our Swedish partners on the land, sea, and in the air. It was a very successful exercise enabling us to better work with Swedish Marines, Navy, and Air Force; understand the terrain and Baltic Sea operations and make a few friends along the way. The Sailors and embarked Marines are looking for some rest and refresh in the beautiful tour of Visby on Gotland Island.” said Capt. Eric Kellum, commanding officer of USS Arlington.

    As Arlington’s second visit to Sweden, the first being Stockholm, Sweden approximately one month ago, the port visit to Visby will present Arlington Sailors and Marines the opportunity to explore Sweden’s culture and experience more of what Sweden has to offer. Arlington Sailors and Marines will also have the opportunity to participate in Morale, Wellfare, and Recreation (MWR) events such as a walking tour through the Medieval town of Visby.

    The Kearsarge ARG and embarked 22nd MEU, under the command and control of Task Force 61/2, consists of Kearsarge, San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).

    Embarked commands with the Kearsarge ARG include Amphibious Squadron SIX, 22nd MEU, Fleet Surgical Team 2, Fleet Surgical Team 4, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Naval Beach Group 2, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, and Beach Master Unit 2.

    For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our Allies and Partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

    Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.



    Date Taken: 09.06.2022
    Date Posted: 09.06.2022 08:20
    Story ID: 428653
    Location: VISBY, SE

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