LISBON, Portugal --
The Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), operating as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group (IWOARG), arrived in Lisbon, Portugal for a maintenance and logistics stop, April 30, 2021.
After Carter Hall’s departure, April 26, from Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport, Carter the ship continued its deployment in the Atlantic Ocean with the IWOARG.
“We are excited to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Portuguese Marines with Portugal,” said Cmdr. LaDonna Simpson, Carter Hall’s commanding officer. “We look forward to working with the Portuguese Navy and Marines during CONTEX-PHIBEX. Our continued participation in multilateral exercises with allies and partners strengthens our commitments and improves our interoperability.”
Carter Hall will receive food, parts and fuel during its time in Lisbon.
The combined IWOARG and 24th MEU have roughly 4,300 Sailors and Marines. The ARG-MEU is deployed to SIXTHFLT in support of regional NATO Allies and partners as well as U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
The IWOARG consists of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), Carter Hall (LSD 50) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17). Embarked detachments for the Iwo Jima ARG include Amphibious Squadron Four, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) Six, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21, Naval Beach Group (NBG) Two, Beach Master Unit (BMU) Two, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) Two and Four, and Sailors from Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) Two.
The 24th MEU mission is to provide the United States with a forward-deployed, amphibious force-in-readiness capable of executing missions across the full spectrum of combat and military operations other than war, and consists of four basic elements, the Command Element, Ground Combat Element, Air Combat Element and the Logistics Combat Element. The unit consists of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/8, a logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 24, and an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron (VMM) 162 Reinforced.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.