Amphibious ready group

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An Amphibious Ready Group in the Pacific Ocean.
Pictured left-to-right, the USS Germantown (LSD-42), Essex (LHD-2), Juneau (LPD-10), and Fort McHenry (LSD-43)

An Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) of the United States Navy consists of a Navy element—a group of warships known as an amphibious task force (ATF)—and a landing force (LF) of U.S. Marines (and occasionally U.S. Army soldiers), in total about 5,000 people. Together, these elements and supporting units are trained, organized, and equipped to perform amphibious operations.

Composition[edit]

A typical U.S. Amphibious Readiness Group consists of:

  • CH-46D Sea Knights: medium-lift assault helicopters, primarily used to move cargo and troops. CH-46 helicopters are being replaced by MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The current USMC H-46E squadrons are designated as HMM, or Marine Medium Helicopter Squadrons. When joined by detachments of the various other squadrons, the HMM is designated as a HMM(REIN), Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (Reinforced). As such, the various aircraft will don the tailcodes and markers of the HMM.
  • UH-1Y Venom or UH-1N Twin Huey: Provides command and control during heliborne operations as well a light attack and assault capabilities.


The resulting forces may range from a single Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) [ARG/MEU (SOC)], to a larger organization capable of employing a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) or even a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF).

Amphibious forces must be capable of performing missions ranging from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to major theater war (MTW). Additionally, they can be configured and deployed to operate at various levels of conflict and in multiple theaters simultaneously. They can provide a presence that may preclude adventurous actions by a potential belligerent.

Because they are sea-based and because the decision to position and engage amphibious forces will always be easily reversible, amphibious forces greatly expand the repertoire of available response options. Among other national resources, they are particularly well placed to provide a demonstration of the United States's commitment and resolve to friends and allies as well as adversaries.

Normally two to three ARGs are forward deployed: one in the Mediterranean Sea/Persian GulfIndian Ocean area, and one or two in the western Pacific Ocean area. The other ships of the ARG are either working up to deploy, in transit, or in overhaul. One ARG/MEU, known as Task Force 76/Expeditionary Strike Group 7, is forward based in Sasebo and Okinawa, Japan.

In most cases, the ATF will be deployed under the protective umbrella of a carrier strike group (CSG), which provides cover for the ATF and combat support to operations ashore. Ships of the ATF are capable of embarking and supporting other forces when the mission requires, including the United States Army, Special Operations Forces (SOF), or other joint and combined forces.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Based on public domain information published by the United States Navy Office of Information.

External links[edit]