NAVY WIRE SERVICE - A WIRE (NWSA) -20 February 1998 -

NWSA20feb-2. USS Guam ARG arrives in the Arabian Gulf

by JOC Doug Hummel, USS Guam Public Affairs

     ARABIAN GULF (NWSA) -- The USS Guam (LPH 9)
Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) arrived on station in the
Arabian Gulf Feb. 16 as it led a 12 ship formation
through the Strait of Hormuz.
     In company with the 33-year old amphibious assault
ship were the other four ships of the ARG: USS
Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Ashland (LSD 48) and USS Oak
Hill (LSD 51). USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) acted as the
group's escort ship. Seven military preposition ships
made up the remainder of the convoy.
     The ship's of the Guam ARG carry about 2,000
Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special
Operations Capable). Deployment of these forces enhance
the capabilities of the forces already in the Arabian
Gulf region.
     "We train for this day in and day out," said
Signalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Charles Odom, from
Williston, S.C. "We're going to continue to stand proper
professional watches identifying all the aircraft and
vessels that we come in contact with. Nothing is going
to slip past us."
     Guam is the flagship of the four-ship ARG.
     "We're ready," said Seaman Mark Johnson, from
Dansville, N.Y., looking out over the formation of
ships from his aft lookout position. "It's important
that we're here. It's important that we provide a show
of force and do what's got to be done."