The U.S. Navy has been ordered to send a battle group to the Middle East.
The Navy said it would deploy the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group in the Middle East over the next few weeks. The Navy said Bataan, with more than 4,000 sailors and Marines, would leave its base in Norfolk, Va. on Feb. 8.
“[They] are departing for a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations, crisis response, theater security cooperation and to provide a forward naval presence in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation,” the Navy said.
In a statement on Feb. 5, the Navy said Bataan consisted of the USS Bataan, USS Mesa Verde and USS Gunston Hall.
The flotilla was expected to operate in both the Gulf and Mediterranean Sea for at least six months.
Bataan was identified as a multipurpose amphibious assault ship. Mesa and Gunston were described as transport dock and amphibious dock ships, respectively.
Officials termed the naval mission in the Middle East as routine. Over
the last year, the Navy reduced its presence in the Gulf from two to one aircraft carrier groups.