More than 4,000 sailors and Marines serving in the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BAT ARG) are scheduled to arrive at their homeports in Norfolk, Virginia, Virginia Beach and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, this weekend.
Buffalo sailors are returning after completing a nine-month deployment in which the ships supported maritime security operations, theater security cooperation, and provided a forward naval presence in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
BAT ARG is commanded by Capt. Neil A. Karnes, commodore, amphibious squadron (PHIBRON) 6, and comprised of multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LDS 44). Bataan and Mesa Verde are homeported at Naval Station Norfolk. Gunston Hall is homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, stationed at Camp Lejeune, is commanded by Col. William R. Dunn, and comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced); logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and its command element.