NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) — Nearly 2,000 Sailors aboard the ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (IWO ARG) are scheduled to return to their homeports December 18th and 20th following a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets areas of responsibility.
The dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) will return to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story December 18.
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), the IWO ARG flagship, commanded by Capt. Grady Banister, and USS New York (LPD 21) will return to Naval Station Norfolk December 20.
This marks the completion of the first deployment for USS New York.
Sailors and Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, commanded by Col. Frank Donovan, will offload in Morehead City, N.C., prior to the ships arriving in Norfolk.
“The hard work and dedication demonstrated by the IWO ARG’s Sailors and Marines exceeded expectations,” said Capt. Arturo Garcia, IWO ARG commander. “The flexibility of the crews’ response to national tasking in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts is a testament to the capability and flexibility of amphibious forces. I also want to recognize and thank our families for their dedication and sacrifice on the homefront. It is their support that sustains us during deployments and allows us to respond to our nation’s tasking.”