ABOARD USS BATAAN, At Sea - The Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) entered the European area of operations Jan. 10 in support of initiatives to strengthen emerging and enduring partnerships with the nations and armed forces of Greece, France, Morocco, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Malta.
While deployed here, approximately 6,000 U.S. Sailors and Marines assigned to the seven ships and the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit provide a versatile sea-based force that can be tailored for a variety of missions. The Bataan ESG has the capabilities to support maritime security operations, combat operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
"Our top mission is theater security cooperation engagements, which we execute with some exciting port visits," said Navy Capt. Donna Looney, Commander, Bataan Strike Group/Amphibious Squadron TWO.
Sailors and Marines from the Strike Group's seven ships are scheduled to make various port visits during their time here. "We're looking forward to successful visits that reinforce our long-standing friendships. The Sailors and Marines of the ESG are our best ambassadors, and they are looking forward to this opportunity to see this part of the world", she said.
The Bataan ESG consists of the amphibious ships USS Bataan (LHA 4), USS Shreveport (LPD 12) and USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) as well as the Aegis-equipped cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36), and the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756).