December 6, 2023
The ships of the Makin Island Prepared Group train off Indonesia in December. Navy picture

The Makin Island Amphibious Prepared Group with the thirteenth Marine Expeditionary Unit returned to San Diego this week after a seven-month deployment within the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island and amphibious transport docks USS Anchorage and USS John P. Murtha together with 4,500 sailors and Marines traveled greater than 47,000 nautical miles through the deployment.

“Our purpose was to realize interoperability with our allies and companions and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific. We completed that mission and introduced each single sailor and Marine house safely,” stated Capt. Andria Slough, commanding officer of Makin Island.

“Whereas the world witnessed our ARG-MEU workforce strengthening partnerships, I had a front-row seat to the large quantity of ability, dedication and exhausting work,” she stated. “It’s awe-inspiring to look at sailors and Marines at their highest!” 

The Makin Island group exercised with allied naval items from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste through the deployment.

Col. Samuel Meyer, commanding officer of the thirteenth MEU, stated the workouts strengthened crucial relationships within the area.

“Via our Navy and Marine Corps integration, we labored with our companions and allies, creating private bonds that may final a lifetime,” he stated.

The prepared group wrapped up the deployment by collaborating in train Balikatan 2023 with the armed forces of the Philippines in April. The 17,600 members made it the biggest iteration of the train so far.