Marines: November 29, 2002


The U.S. Marine Corps is putting together its first Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG). This is a group of combat ships whose main mission is landing marines where they are needed in some distant hot spot. The main fighting element of the ESG is a battalion of Marines. In support are a Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162, and a Service Support Group. All of these will travel on three amphibious ships (an LHA, LPD, and LSD). The rest of the ESG will consist of warships (a cruiser, a destroyer, a frigate and an attack submarine.) Supporting firepower will come from cruise missiles and a some five inch guns on the cruiser and destroyer, plus attack helicopters. The ESG will also be supported by land based P-3 patrol aircraft. The first ESG will put to sea next Summer. 


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