Sunday, August 7, 2011


Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) line the beach below Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima in a static display for the 58th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration, March 12. Mt. Suribachi is the historic site where four Marines and one Sailor raised the American Flag during the WWII battle. The AAVs are embarked aboard ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, consisting of USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), and USS Juneau (LPD 10). 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. (Official U.S. Navy photograph by Journalist 2nd Class Wes Eplen)

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