Thursday, February 9, 2012

Landing Craft Utility (LCU 1634)

A Landing Craft Utility (LCU), delivers Sailors and U.S. Marines from the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) to the island of Iwo Jima. The Essex ARG, consisting of USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), and USS Juneau (LPD 10), are off the coast of Iwo Jima to participate in the 58th Anniversary Commemoration of the historic battle. Iwo Jima was the largest sustained aerial offensive of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. The U.S. sent over 110,000 Marines in 880 ships in what also became the largest invasion force of the Pacific Campaign. It took 36 days of fighting and more than 25,000 U.S. casualties to break through and bring the island under American control. Today's forward deployed Sailors from the Essex ARG and embarked Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable, continue to sail throughout the Pacific to help promote peace and stability in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Wes Eplen)

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