Kearsarge ARG and 22nd MEU complete training with Sweden and NATO > United States Navy > News-Stories


“The opportunities to participate in combined training events with Swedish and NATO forces have demonstrated the importance of maritime and amphibious capability and readiness,” said Captain Aaron Kelley, commanding officer of Kearsarge ARG and of Amphibious Squadron SIX. “The Kearsarge ARG-MEU team is dedicated to operating alongside NATO allies and partners as a capable, combined maritime force to ultimately ensure security and stability in the Baltic region.”

During the week-long Swedish interoperability, the ARG-MEU team conducted ship-to-shore operations, a raid at Ravlunda and an airfield seizure ashore. At sea, ARG ships conducted exchanges of military experts and drills.

“The chance to come to Sweden and train with the Swedish Armed Forces has been an amazing experience for my Marines,” said 22nd MEU Commander Col. Paul Merida. “The ability to perform ship-to-shore maneuvers via surface gear and maritime aviation has allowed us to practice one of our fundamental skills and helps us stay combat ready. Even better was training alongside a key regional partner. Our Swedish hosts were extremely accommodating and the Swedish military is a first class and superbly professional organization.

The combined operations demonstrate the substantial capability that the ARG-MEU brings to the region.

“Working closely with partners is as always very important to the Swedish Navy. The exercise demonstrates our resolve to work together for security in the Baltic region,” said Captain (N) Jenny Ström, Commander of the Third Naval Warfare Flotilla.

Immediately following bilateral training with Sweden, the Kearsarge ARG-MEU transitioned to a sea-focused exercise with SNMG1, a force ready at NATO’s permanent disposal, establishing the Alliance’s presence and providing maritime capability in peacetime as well as during crises and conflicts.

“The exercise with the Ready Amphibious Ready Group was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the integration and flexibility of NATO maritime forces,” said Commodore Jeanette Morang (RNLN), Commander of SNMG1. “The diversity of available resources provides unique options for testing and improving interoperability. . That’s what we mean with the NATO motto #StrongerTogether”

During the multinational training event, U.S. Marine Forces and SNMG1 conducted inter-deck flying operations, maneuvering drills, replenishment at sea, interoperability, small boat personnel exchanges on all SNMG vessels and ARG participants, simulated training scenarios, as well as a medical swap and drill.

Together, the Kearsarge ARG-MEU operates in the Baltic region alongside NATO partners and Allies to show solidarity and maintain a high level of readiness.

The Kearsarge ARG and embarked 22nd MEU, under the command and control of Task Force 61/2, consists of the ARG flagship, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3); the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24); and the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).

Shipborne commands with the Kearsarge ARG include Amphibious Squadron SIX, 22nd MEU, Fleet Surgical Team 2, Fleet Surgical Team 4, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Air Force Squadron Helicopter Sea Gunships 28, Naval Beach Group 2, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, and Beach Master Unit 2.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) is one of NATO’s two maritime immediate reaction forces. The Standing NATO Maritime Groups are an integrated multinational maritime force made up of ships from various Allied nations. These ships (including their helicopters) are permanently at NATO’s disposal to carry out various tasks ranging from participation in exercises to effective intervention in operational missions.

For more than 80 years, US Naval Forces Europe-US Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our allies and partners, building on a foundation of shared values ​​to preserve security and stability.

Based in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. The U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces across the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.


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