Photos: USS America conducts massive flight operations in South China Sea

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The Sailors and Marines assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) conduct massive flight operations in the South China Sea.

An F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft, MV-22B Osprey and CH-53E Super Stallion assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) 265 (Reinforced) conducted flight operations during naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations.

America, with the embarked 31st MEU and VMM 265 Reinforced is conducting operations in the South China Sea after completing Exercise Cobra Gold in the Kingdom of Thailand, March 7.

The 31st MEU is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units in existence in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 Marines and sailors.

The MEU is unique in that its air and ground combat elements are combined with combat service support under one commander – the MEU commanding officer. This air-ground task force concept is designed to thoroughly exploit the combat power inherent in air and ground assets by closely integrating them into a single force. It brings what it needs to sustain itself from the sea for the rapid accomplishment of the mission or to pave the way for follow-on forces.

The size and composition of the MEU makes it well-suited for amphibious combat operations as well as noncombat crisis response missions. The MEU is an expeditionary force in nature, able to operate in foreign lands without U.S. bases and facilities. It is also Naval in character, useful in conventional operations in the air and ashore, and is able to operate with U.S. fleets around the world. The MEU’s combined arms team bears substantial force and is capable of a high degree of tactical mobility while delivering significant, sustained firepower within an objective area.

Photo by Seaman Jomark AlmazanPhoto by Seaman Jomark Almazan


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