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26th Marine Expeditionary Unit


26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

A Certain Force in an Uncertain World

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Amphibious Squadron Four / Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group

Amphibious Squadron 4

Motto: “Ready to Land”


Amphibious Squadron 4 (PHIBRON) is responsible for planning and executing Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) operations and deployments in conjunction with a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). PHIBRON 4 typically has tactical control of three amphibious ships, which have the capability to land troops and equipment by air and sea simultaneously, as well as support troops ashore with fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.


PHIBRON 4 supports embarked amphibious forces in performing expeditionary operations on remote shores in support of national policy. The squadron’s capabilities also include rendering humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maintaining maritime security, rescuing distressed mariners and evacuating non-combatant Americans.


In fulfilling these vital missions, PHIBRON 4 continues to contribute to America’s policy of preserving peace and defending freedom worldwide by maintaining a ready peacetime presence in areas of vital interest to the security of the U. S. and our partners around the globe.


Commander, PHIBRON 4 presently oversees the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group that teams with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit to provide a flexible force capable of conducting amphibious operations in a wide-range of environments.


The Iwo Jima ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), the transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and the embarked staff of PHIBRON 4.

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7)

Motto: “Uncommon Valor”

USS Iwo Jima is named for the World War II battle where three Marine Corps divisions wrested control of the Japanese island from more than 20,000 defenders. More than 6,000 Marines were killed in the nearly two-month fight, making it one the costliest battles in Marine Corps history. Iwo Jima is capable of transporting Marines by sea and air to support amphibious operations and serves as Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group’s command ship. It provides an over-the-horizon strike capability that allows the ship to launch amphibious vehicles, aircraft and landing crafts while remaining a safe distance for the shore. The ship uses a variety of vehicles and systems to accomplish its mission that include landing crafts, air cushion; landing craft units and armored amphibious vehicles. Its 844-foot flight deck is capable of conducting fixed-wing and rotary aircraft operations, while simultaneously conducting ship-to-shore operations with landing craft.

USS New York (LPD 21)

Motto: “Strength Forged Through Sacrifice…Never Forget.”

USS New York is named for the state of New York. The dock transport ship incorporates advanced performance and war-fighting technologies that enhance the Navy’s operational flexibility. New York was designed to embark an increased landing force vehicle capacity, has a well deck capable of launching landing craft at sea and its aviation facilities can accommodate MV-22 Osprey aircraft and a variety of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters. New York serves as an integral piece to the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and, if the mission requires, can detach and operate independently with its embarked landing force.

USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) 

Motto: “Nations’ Protector”

The dock landing ship USS Oak Hill honors the Virginia residence of James Monroe, where the fifth president of the United States penned the Monroe Doctrine. Marking a landmark shift in U.S. foreign policy, the doctrine declared any attempt by a nation to oppress or control a country in the Western Hemisphere would be perceived as a direct threat to America. Oak Hill is capable of transporting Marines ashore by landing craft and helicopters. Its well deck can support landing crafts, air cushion; landing craft units; a variety of landing craft, mechanized; and amphibious assault vehicles. Oak Hill’s flight deck is capable of landing a variety of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters.