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While in vicinity of Izmir, Arlington and elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will conduct amphibious ship-to-shore and air operations to off-load U.S. Marine Corps equipment and vehicles to support EFES22 to strengthen interoperability with a key NATO ally.
“Exercise EFES is a great opportunity for the Marines of the 22 MEU to hone our proficiency and interoperability with our Turkish Allies and other partners participating in the exercise,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Myette, executive officer of the 22nd MEU. “Over the next two weeks, we will train side by side with our Turkish allies, demonstrating the combined effectiveness of Allied forces operating from the sea and projecting firepower and maneuver assets ashore.”
EFES22 will include integrated aviation, amphibious landings, and bilateral artillery and light armored reconnaissance live-fire training between the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team and Turkish Armed Forces. Commander, Task Force (CTF) 61/2 will lead U.S. force participation, which consists of elements attached to the Kearsarge ARG and 22 MEU.
The Kearsarge ARG and embarked 22nd MEU are under the command and control of Task Force 61/2. The ARG consists of USS Kearsarge (LHD 3); the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24); and 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, Fleet Surgical Team 4, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, Naval Beach Group 2, and Beach Master Unit 2.
The 22nd MEU includes the command element; the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); the ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 2/6 (Reinforced); and the logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 26.
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.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our Allies and Partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.