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USS Arlington departs for maiden deployment

By Ryan Maass
USS Arlington departs for maiden deployment
Children wave goodbye to their father, Lt. Chris Robinson, deploying aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24). Arlington deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Amy M. Ressler/Released

NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington made its maiden departure from Norfolk to join the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

About 1,200 Sailors and Marines boarded the Arlington on Thursday as part of the U.S. Armed Forces rotation to support maritime security operations in international waters. San Antonio-class ships are designed for both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps as a means for transporting heavy equipment and delivering Marines ashore. Commanding Officer Capt. Sean Bailey praised the deployment as a culmination of the hard work done to prepare Sailors and Marines for their mission.

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"We will be exercising all of the skills that we have practiced and refined during this last year of training, and my expectation is that Arlington's maiden deployment will be both a mission success as well as professionally and personally rewarding for its crew," he said.

The Arlington is tasked for rotating between both the 5th and 6th fleets of responsibility. The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, established in 1944, covers the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet covers parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has called for a "rebuild" of the 6th Fleet as a means to counter Russian military activity in the Middle East.

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