Navnews 18 June 1999 NNS2904. USS Constellation CVBG, USS Peleliu ARG deploy -USN- NNS2904. USS Constellation CVBG, USS Peleliu ARG deploy by 3rd Fleet and USS Peleliu Public Affairs SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- More than 16,000 Pacific Fleet Sailors and Marines recently departed for a six-month overseas deployment. Naval forces of the USS Constellation Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) and USS Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) departed their homeports and bases June 18-21. USS Constellation (CV 64) and escort ships from San Diego deployed June 18. Leaving the same day to join Constellation were ships and submarines homeported in Bremerton, Wash. and Pearl Harbor. Constellation is home to more than 5,500 Sailors, as well as approximately 75 combat and support aircraft. From her 4.5 acre flight deck, she can quickly launch and recover the world's most modern military aircraft. Amphibious ships USS Peleliu (LHA 5), USS Ogden (LPD 5) and USS Rushmore (LSD 47) deployed June 21 with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Special Operations Capable (SOC). All of the ships are homeported at Naval Station San Diego. The Peleliu ARG, with more than 5,000 Sailors and Marines, will take part in amphibious exercises with allies in the Pacific and Arabian Gulf. "Our Sailors are ready to get underway," said Peleliu commanding officer Capt. Gary R. Jones. "They're excited about performing the mission and seeing foreign ports. Many, including myself, joined the Navy for the adventure. However, everyone has goals to further their professional development during this time away from homeport." Peleliu is one of the largest and most capable multi-purpose amphibious platforms ever built. It is equipped to perform command and control functions, support both aircraft and surface landing craft and conduct large-scale amphibious assaults. In addition to air-cushioned landing craft, Peleliu carries AV-8 Harrier jets and attack and transport helicopters. -USN-