More than 4,500 sailors and Marines returned to San Diego aboard three warships Thursday, wrapping up a seven-month deployment to the Indo-Pacific, the site of growing tensions with China.
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group conducted joint exercises with partners and allies, including large-scale training in Indonesia.
The group was comprised of the amphibious assault ship Makin Island and the amphibious transport docks John P. Murtha and Anchorage. The ships carried troops from Camp Pendleton’s 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“Our goal was to achieve interoperability with our allies and partners and promote a free and open Indo-China,” Capt. Andria Slough, commanding officer of the Makin Island, said in a statement.
“We accomplished that mission and brought every single Sailor and Marine home safely.”
The political and military climate in the Indo-Pacific has grown more edgy in recent months because China has continued to threaten to invade Taiwan. The Chinese also have been building bases in the South China Sea that could be used to interfere with international trade in that part of the world, according to defenses analysts.
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