PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain—Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerry Melvin, a 1999 graduate of Elizabeth High School, along with more than 2,500 sailors and Marines from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG), Norfolk, Va., and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU), Camp Lejeune, N. C., are currently deployed to support Maritime Security Operations, provide crisis response capability, and increase theater security cooperation and forward Naval presence in the Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of operation.
During a port call in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the sailors and Marines hosted tours aboard ship. They also volunteered to assist residents and refurbish the grounds at the Association Sindrome de Down de Beleares, dedicated to helping persons with Down Syndrome. The sailors and Marines also had the opportunity to participate in bicycling and kayaking tours, tours of Palma City, the Caves of Drach and Costa Nord.
Bataan also recently commemorated the Battle of Midway, wearing uniforms as they were worn in 1942 and playing Midway announcements throughout the day over the ship’s general announcing system.
Four Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., who spent three weeks aboard the Bataan, were paired with enlisted sailors who helped prepare the future officers for shipboard life and acquire tools to become effective leaders.
Bataan transited the Suez Canal and entered the Fifth Fleet’s area of responsibility, relieving the USS Boxer Amphibious Group. The 22nd MEU performed the first ship to shore emergency medical evacuation from the Bataan using the new MV-22B Ospreys. The V-22 is a joint service, multi-mission aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability and performs missions as effectively as a conventional helicopter while also having the long-range cruise abilities of a twin turboprop aircraft.
ARGs usually include an amphibious squadron (PHIBRON), an amphibious assault ship (LHA/D), amphibious transport dock (LPD), dock landing ship (LSD), embarked Naval support elements and an embarked MEU.
The BATARG is comprised of the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce (LPD 15) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43).The BATARG and 22nd MEU provide the combatant commander a versatile sea-based force that can be tailored to a variety of missions, including quick reaction crisis response options in maritime, littoral and inland environments in support of the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.
The 22nd MEU includes a Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and its command element.
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