Amphibious ready group

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An Amphibious Ready Group in the Pacific Ocean.
Pictured left-to-right, USS Germantown (LSD-42), Essex (LHD-2), Juneau (LPD-10), and Fort McHenry (LSD-43) in March 2002.

An amphibious ready group (ARG) of the United States Navy consists of a naval 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.[1]


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

Troops and equipment
  • AV-8B Harrier IIs or F-35B Lightning IIs: ground-attack aircraft designed to attack and destroy surface targets. F-35Bs also have the secondary role of fighter support.
  • MV-22B Ospreys or CH-53E Super Stallions transport personnel, supplies and equipment in support of amphibious and shore operations.
  • AH-1Z Vipers: attack helicopters providing fire support and fire support coordination to the landing force during amphibious assaults and subsequent operations ashore.
  • UH-1Y Venom: Provides command and control during heliborne operations as well a light attack and assault capabilities.
  • USMC MV-22B squadrons are designated as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons (VMM), and CH-53E squadrons as Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadrons (HMH). When assigned to a MEU, the detachments of the various other squadrons are combined with either the MV-22 or CH-53 squadron to create a reinforced, composite squadron. The reinforced squadron is designated as VMM-XXX(REIN) for MV-22s or HMH-XXX(REIN) for CH-53s, where the Xs are the squadron's number. As such, the various aircraft will don the tail codes and markers of the VMM or HMH squadron, though will usually keep their own squadron tail art.

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 Gulf–Indian 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]


  1. ^ "Amphibious Ready Group And Marine Expeditionary Unit - Overview".

External links[edit]