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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit Prepares For Deployment Friday

A Marine aims his weapon during an exercise at Camp Pendleton, April 13, 2017.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: A Marine aims his weapon during an exercise at Camp Pendleton, April 13, 2017.

Sailors and Marines in the America Amphibious Ready Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are scheduled to leave San Diego on Friday for a regularly scheduled deployment, the Navy announced Wednesday.

The naval force is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS America, amphibious transport dock USS San Diego and amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor.

RELATED: Pendleton Marines Storm Beach In Coordinated Exercise

During the deployment, they'll operate with embarked forces of the Camp Pendleton-based 15th MEU, the "Wildcards" of Coronado-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, and various other units.

"It has been incredible to see the America ARG/15th MEU team come together as a highly capable, lethal, and ready force," said Capt. Rome Ruiz, commander, Amphibious Squadron 3.

"Not only did they excel at ARG-MEU integration and amphibious warfare, they spearheaded an environment of innovation and dominated the battle space in the training phases by leveraging the unique characteristics of the America ARG as an up-gunned, aviation-centric task force," Ruiz said. "I have every confidence that we will succeed on deployment."

The Navy said they will operate in the Pacific, Middle East and Horn of Africa, conducting maritime security operations, providing crisis response capability, theater security cooperation and a forward naval presence.

"We are looking forward to conducting persistent forward naval engagement and being always prepared to respond as the nation's force in readiness," said Col. Joseph Clearfield, 15th MEU commanding officer. "This team has worked incredibly hard and I couldn't be prouder of everyone. We are ready to accomplish whatever missions our commanders need accomplished."

The Navy said the three ships have been at sea for a lot of the last six months preparing for the deployment.

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