Marines: August 26, 2003

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The U.S. Navy has deployed the first of it's new Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs). In the past, Amphibious Ready Groups were just the three specialized ships carrying marines and their equipment (including helicopters and AV-8 vertical take off warplanes.) The EGSs contain the amphibious ships, plus four more warships (a cruiser, destroyer, frigate and nuclear submarine). These ships bring with them over 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles, an excellent anti-aircraft capability and three guns for support of operations near the shore. The frigate only carries a 76mm gun, but the destroyer and cruiser each mount a 127mm gun. The ESG will contain 2.200 marines and 2,800 marines. By next year, there will be two ESGs in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic. ESGs will be better able to handle situations where the hostiles on shore have access to warplanes, small warships (like missile boats) and artillery. But in most cases, the ESG will operate in conjunction with a carrier task force.

 


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