By Lt.j.g. Jordan Trias, Commander, Amphibious Squadron Six
The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), flagship of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Tromsø, Norway for a scheduled port visit, April 11, 2022.
The ship’s presence in the High North is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to NATO Allies and Partners and the strong bond between the United States and Norway.
“The Kearsarge ARG and 22nd MEU are grateful to the Kingdom of Norway for supporting our port visit in Tromsø,” said Capt. David Guluzian, commander of the Kearsarge ARG and Amphibious Squadron SIX. “As we work toward mutual goals of peace and security throughout the region, the ARG-MEU team looks forward to strengthening the bonds between the U.S., Norway, and our NATO Allies and Partners.”
While in port in the northern Norwegian city of Tromsø, Kearsarge will off-load U.S. Marine Corps equipment and vehicles in support of a bilateral Norway training exercise strengthening the long-standing relationship between the U.S. and Norway.
As part of its port visit above the Arctic Circle, the group’s leadership will participate in visits and office calls with local community and military leadership while the crew partakes in several local tours of historical sights and experiences Norway’s rich culture.
The ARG-MEU team recently departed homeports in Virginia and North Carolina for its scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations conducting global maritime and security operations in support of Allied and partner interests in Europe and Africa.
The Kearsarge ARG and embarked 22nd MEU are under the command and control of Task Force 61/2. The ARG consists of USS Kearsarge; the San-Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24); and the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).
Embarked commands with the Kearsarge ARG include Amphibious Squadron SIX, 22nd MEU, Fleet Surgical Team 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, Naval Beach Group 2, and Beach Master Unit 2.
Amphibious ready groups and larger amphibious task forces provide military commanders a wide range of flexible capabilities including maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, strike operations, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, counter-terrorism, information operations, security cooperation and counter-proliferation, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with Allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests, security, and stability in Europe and Africa.