Three ships, 2,100 Marines arriving
Three ships from the Navy's USS Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group 1, along with more than 2,100 Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, will arrive today in Pearl Harbor for a port visit.
En route to their home port San Diego, the Tarawa, the USS Pearl Harbor and the USS Cleveland are wrapping up a six-month deployment that included support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and humanitarian operations in Pakistan and the Philippines, as well as maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf.
The Marines of the 13th conducted combat operations inside Iraq to support stability and security and participated in Operation Steel Curtain, fighting insurgents in western Iraq along the Syrian border.
The operation was designed to ensure security for the recent Iraqi elections. The unit also participated in Exercise Bright Star in Egypt, the largest multinational exercise in the world, which included training with more than a dozen coalition partner nations. Also while deployed, the Marine unit performed a two-day medical and dental humanitarian assistance operation in the Philippines.
The Pearl Harbor, an amphibious assault ship named in honor of those who served during the 1941 attack on the naval base, is the last ship of the Harper's Ferry Class and the last of its class to serve in the Pacific Fleet.