Amphibious Assault Ship

LHA 5  -  USS Peleliu

 

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu patch crest insignia

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Tarawa class amphibious assault ship

Type, Class:

 

Amphibious Assault Ship (General Purpose) - LHA; Tarawa - class

planned and laid down as USS Da Nang / renamed USS Peleliu in 1978

Builder:

 

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA

STATUS:

 

Awarded: November 6, 1970

Laid down: November 26, 1976 (as USS Da Nang)

renamed USS Peleliu on February 15, 1978

Launched: November 25, 1978

Commissioned: May 3, 1980

ACTIVE UNIT/ in commission (Pacific Fleet)

Homeport:

 

San Diego, California, USA

Namesake:

 

Named after and in honor of the Battle of Peleliu (September 15 - November 25, 1944)

> see history, below;

Ship's Motto:

 

PAX PER POTENS  'peace through power'

Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)

 

see: INFO > Tarawa class Amphibious Assault Ship - LHA

 

ship images

 

LHA-5 USS peleliu ammunition offload 2011

ammunition offload - March 2011

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck LCU-1635

San Diego, California - February 2011

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Diego 2011

San Diego, California - February 2011

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harrier II pacific ocean 2011

Pacific Ocean - February 2011

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 San Diego 2010

San Diego, California - December 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - December 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - December 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pearl Harbor Hawaii

Pearl Harbor - December 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu south china sea ch-46 sea knight

South China Sea - November 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harriers south china sea 2010

South China Sea - November 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu hangar deck arabian sea

Arabian Sea - August 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Arabian Sea 2010

Arabian Sea - August 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Arabian Sea - August 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu CH-46 Sea Knight Arabian Sea 2010

Arabian Sea - August 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu CH-53E Super Stallion Arabian Sea 2010

Arabian Sea - August 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Java Sea

Java Sea - July 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Indian Ocean 2010

Indian Ocean - July 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Darwin Australia 2010

Darwin, Australia - June 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Dili Timor Leste 2010

Dili, Timor Leste - June 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pacific Ocean 2010

Pacific Ocean - June 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harrier 2010

Pacific Ocean - June 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Apra Harbor Guam 2010

Guam - June 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu flight deck

Pacific Ocean - June 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu CH-46 Sea Knight CH-53E Super Stallion

Pacific Ocean - May 2010

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 pacific 2010

Pacific Ocean - May 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - May 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pacific Ocean 2010

Pacific Ocean - March 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - March 2010

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 AV-8B Harrier II landing

Pacific Ocean - March 2010

 

Pacific Ocean - March 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu hangar bay 15th MEU

Marines assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (15th MEU) wait in the hangar bay of USS Peleliu - Pacific Ocean - March 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck

Pacific Ocean - February 2010

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Diego 2008

San Diego, California - November 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - November 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - November 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu CH-53E Super Stallion 2008

Pacific Ocean - November 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2008

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5

Pacific Ocean - November 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pearl Harbor Hawaii 2008

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - October 2008

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 Pearl Harbor 2008

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - October 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harrier II

Pacific Ocean - October 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Sydney Australia 2008

Sydney, Australia - October 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Indian Ocean 2008

Indian Ocean - October 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Indian Ocean 2008

Indian Ocean - October 2008

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 Persian Gulf 2008

Persian Gulf - September 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Red Sea 2008

Red Sea - August 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Red Sea 2008

Red Sea - August 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Red Sea - August 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Red Sea

Red Sea - August 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Mk-15 CIWS

North Arabian Sea - August 2008

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS

North Arabian Sea - August 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu South China Sea 2008

South China Sea - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

South China Sea - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Harrier landing

South China Sea - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harrier landing

South China Sea - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

South China Sea - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu South China Sea 2008

South China Sea - May 2008

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 2008

South China Sea - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pacific Ocean 2008

Pacific Ocean - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - May 2008

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - May 2008

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5

Pacific Ocean - October 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pearl Harbor Hawaii 2007

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - September 2007

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - September 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Da Nang Vietnam 2007

Da Nang, Vietnam - July 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - June 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - June 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Hawaii

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - June 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - May 2007

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - May 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Diego 2007

San Diego, California - May 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - May 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck

Pacific Ocean - April 2007

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu 2006

San Diego, California - August 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - August 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu DDG-73 USS Decatur Pearl Harbor Hawaii 2006

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - August 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck Persian Gulf 2006

Persian Gulf - April 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu persian gulf LCAC well deck

Persian Gulf - April 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Diego

San Diego, California - February 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - February 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Diego 2006

San Diego, California - February 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Diego

San Diego, California - February 2006

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 Pacific Ocean 2006

Pacific Ocean - January 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - January 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - January 2006

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5

San Diego, California - January 2006

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck LCU

Pacific Ocean - December 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - December 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - December 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pacific Ocean 2005

Pacific Ocean - December 2005

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5

Pacific Ocean - December 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - December 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 AV-8B Harrier II

Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harrier VMA-214 Black Sheep

AV-8B Harrier II of VMA-214 - Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 UH-1N Huey

UH-1N Huey - Pacific Ocean - November 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harrier II VMA-314 Black Sheep

AV-8B Harrier II assigned to VMA-214 - Pacific Ocean - August 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck LCU

Pacific Ocean - July 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu MH-60S Seahawk HSC-21

MH-60S Sea Hawk assigned to HSC-21 - Pacific Ocean - July 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck AAV

Kauai, Hawaii - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AAV returning

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pacific Ocean 2005

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 LCAC well deck

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck ramp

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck flooded

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Pacific Ocean - June 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu AV-8B Harrier II 2005

Pacific Ocean - April 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu flight deck AV-8B Harrier II

VMA-513 - Pacific Ocean - April 2005

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 flight deck

Pacific Ocean - April 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS live fire

Pacific Ocean - February 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck LCU-1617

Pacific Ocean - January 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu well deck LCU

Pacific Ocean - January 2005

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 LCAC arriving

Pacific Ocean - January 2005

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Diego 2004

San Diego, California - March 2004

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - March 2004

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

San Diego, California - March 2004

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu replenishment 2003

North Arabian Gulf - November 2003

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Pearl Harbor 2003

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - August 2003

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu enduring freedom 2002

Enduring Freedom - January 2002

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu exercise Kernel Blitz 1997

Exercise KERNEL BLITZ 97 - June 1997

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Kernel Blitz 1997

Exercise KERNEL BLITZ 97 - June 1997

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 exercise Team Spirit 1990

Exercise TEAM SPIRIT 90 - February 1990

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Team Spirit 1990

Exercise TEAM SPIRIT 90 - February 1990

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu 1986 Mk-45 gun

July 1986

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu San Francisco 1985

San Francisco Bay - October 1985

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu exercise Cobra Gold 1985

Exercise COBRA GOLD 85 - July 1985

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Long Beach 1985

Long Beach, California - February 1985

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu off Peleliu Island 1984

Off Peleliu Island - February 1984

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu 1984

Off Peleliu Island - February 1984

 

USS Peleliu LHA-5 1984

Off Peleliu Island - February 1984

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu

Off Peleliu Island - February 1984

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu Tarawa class amphibious assault ship 1984

Off Peleliu Island - February 1984

 

 

Peleliu Island, Palau Islands (7°01'00" N / 134°15'00" E)

 

Peleliu Palau Islands map

 

Battle of Peleliu Palau 1944 map

 

 

Namesake & History:

The Battle of Peleliu, Palau Islands (September 15 – November 25, 1944):

 

The Battle of Peleliu, like the bloody World War II island campaigns before it, was a fight to capture an airstrip on a small coral island in the Western Pacific. And, as with previous island battles, the Americans prevailed, but at a higher cost than anticipated, against the determined resistance of the Japanese forces.


Background:

By the summer of 1944, victories in the Southwest and Central Pacific had brought the war even closer to Japan, with American bombers able to strike at the Japanese homeland. But there was disagreement by the U.S. Joint Chiefs over two proposed strategies to crush the Japanese Empire. One strategy proposed by General Douglas MacArthur called for the recapture of the Philippines, followed by the capture of Okinawa then Formosa for an attack at the Chinese mainland. From there, the eventual invasion of Japan would come. Admiral Chester Nimitz, on the other hand, favored a more direct strategy of bypassing the Philippines, but seizing Okinawa and Formosa as staging areas for the future invasion of Japan's southernmost islands.

As for Peleliu, both commanders' strategies included the invasion of this island, but for different reasons, and the 1st Marine Division had already been chosen to make the assault. To settle this dispute, President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled to Pearl Harbor to personally meet both commanders and hear their respective arguments. After a review of both positions, MacArthur's strategy was chosen. However, before MacArthur could retake the Philippines, the Palau Islands, Peleliu and Anguar specifically, were thought to be necessary for neutralization and building an airfield to protect his right flank. This turned out not to be necessary at all. What followed was a ferocious battle lasting more than two months and costing over 12,000 lives on both sides. Engaging on Peleliu was the 1st Marine Division, and also the U.S. Army 81st Infantry Division that had already overrun the smaller island of Anguar.


Aftermath:

The reduction of the Japanese pocket around Umurbrogol mountain is considered to be the most difficult fight that the U.S. military encountered in the entire Second World War. The 1st Marine Division was severely mauled by casualties on Peleliu, and it remained out of action until the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

On the recommendation of Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., the planned occupation of Yap Island in the Palaus was cancelled. Halsey actually (rightly) recommended that the landings on Peleliu and Anguar be cancelled, too, and their Marines and soldiers be thrown into Leyte Island instead. But Halsey was overruled by Nimitz.

 

Peleliu today:

Peleliu (or Beliliou) is an island in the island nation of Palau. Peleliu forms, along with two small islands to its northeast, one of the sixteen states of Palau. It is located northeast of Angaur and southwest of Koror.

Peleliu has a total area of 13 km² (5 mi²) As of 2004, its population was about 700, making it the third most populous state of Palau. Most of the island's population lives in the village of Kloulklubed, the state capital on the northern coast. Including the capital, there is a total of four villages:

Kloulklubed (northwest)
Imelechol (northeast)
Lademisang (southernmost, in the central part of the island)
Ongeuidel (northernmost)

The island was the site of the Battle of Peleliu in World War II. Peleliu is a memorial site for both WWII US and Japanese troops. Many soldiers died on the beaches and in the caves of Peleliu. Many of the military installations of the era, such as the airstrip, are still intact, and shipwrecks from the battle remain visible underwater just off the coast.

 

USS Peleliu (LHA 5):

 

The contract to build LHA-5 was awarded on Nov 6, 1970. Peleliu's keel was laid Nov. 12, 1976, and the ship was launched Nov. 11, 1978. She was christened on Jan. 6, 1979, by Margaret Hayward, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Thomas B. Hayward. Commissioning took place in Pascagoula, Miss., at Ingalls Shipyard May 3, 1980.

Peleliu is the first U.S. Navy ship to carry the name Peleliu, and the second ship named in honor of the World War II battles fought in the Palau Islands. The first ship was USS Palau (CVE 122), a Commencement Bay Class aircraft carrier, which served from 1946 until being decommissioned in 1954. Peleliu is named in honor of the 3rd Amphibious Force's assault and capture of Peleliu Island in the fall of 1944.

On May 17th Peleliu arrived in Colon, Panama to begin unrigging for the transit of the Panama Canal. Peleliu departed Colon on May 20th and tied up in Balboa, Panama (Pacific side of the canal) twelve hours later. After five days of rerigging in Balboa, Peleliu departed and entered her home waters of the Pacific. Peleliu proceeded south from Panama and crossed the equator on the night of May 27th, which is the record for the shortest period between a ship's commissioning and "Crossing the Line."

On May 28th Peleliu headed north to Mazatlan, Mexico, departing the Baja port on June 7th enroute San Diego, California. Most of the events Peleliu and her crew participated in during this initial transit were "firsts" and the underway refueling with USNS TALUGA was no exception, occurring on June 8th. Peleliu arrived at Naval Air Station, San Diego on June 10th for a one-day stop prior to arriving in Long Beach, CA, her homeport.

In 1981 Peleliu complete its Post-Shakedown Availability and join the fleet as a fully operational unit of the Navy's Pacific Amphibious Force. The latter part of the year found the ship and her crew well trained completed numerous work up evaluations. The Engineering department passed their Operational Propulsion Plant Examination (OPPE) in 42 hours vice the normal 72 hours required, and REFTRA was successfully accomplished just prior to the holiday season. All efforts were directed toward preparing Peleliu for its first Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment.

1982 marked USS Peleliu's first year as a fully operational unit of the Navy's Pacific Fleet Amphibious Force. In January, she was the flagship in a no-notice, non-combatant emergency evacuation exercise conducted off San Clemente Island, and on March 28th the ship got underway for its maiden deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.

The deployment was completed on October 4th, 1984. One month later the ship deployed to the northern Pacific Ocean to participate in an exercise held off Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands. Peleliu conducted its 10,000th accident free landing during this northern Pacific exercise.

The first fleet firing of the RIM 116 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) occurred in October 1995 from the USS Peleliu.

In Sepember 1997 the Peleliu Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) took part in Fleet Battle Experiment - Bravo's "Silent Fury" phase along with the Constellation Battle Group.

The Peleliu ARG was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1997 (actually being present in the Gulf in November) and participated in Exercise Eager Mace 98.

On June 21, 1999 the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group deployed for a 6-month Western Pacific deployment along with the USS Constellation.

Peleliu and its ARG supported Operation Stabilize, which was intended to support humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts in East Timor.

The USS Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group deployed to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Gulf August 2001 to March 2002. Following the events of September 11th, Peleliu ARG was a central support force for Operation Enduring Freedom. Peleliu was the first ship in the war on terrorism to deploy Marines to the beach, to fly over 200 miles to the desert country of Afghanistan.

Following its deployment Peleliu underwent a comprehensive overhaul at National Steel and Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard in San Diego. Peleliu's first milestone after overhaul was successfully passing the light-off assessment (LOA) administered by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Pacific. LOA is an important process for a ship. Before a ship can light off, its engineering plant must be inspected by ATG to ensure that it is in proper condition for operation at sea. During LOA, ATG also assesses the crew's firefighting sustainment capabilities with general quarters (GQ) drills.

In 2002 it was announced that the Navy intended to deploy the USS Peleliu as the center of an Expeditionary Strike Group that would consist of cruisers, destroyers, frigates and submarines in addition to the usual compliment of amphibious vessels.

In April 2003 the "Gunbearers" of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron ELEVEN (HC-11) put their newly acquired MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters through their paces while conducting daylight landing qualifications aboard Peleliu. This evolution marked the first time the Navy's newest helicopter landed on a Pacific Fleet naval ship.

In May 2003, shortly after celebrating her 23 rd birthday, the Peleliu took part in a Expeditionary Strike Group Exercise (ESGEX) in which members of the crew and the strike group participated in a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO). NEO is the Navy and Marine Corps way of extracting civilians from a hostile environment. Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (13th MEU) are inserted into a hostile country, usually by helicopter, and begin the task of escorting civilians back to Peleliu where they will be sheltered, fed and cared for until they can be brought back to the United States. NEO is one of the amphibious Navy's primary missions. Peleliu is capable of supporting more than 1,000 civilians for an indefinite amount of time. During the 1991 volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, Navy ships embarked large numbers of civilians of all ages for the two-day passage to a safe island.

The NEO exercise during the ESGEX was the first of several NEO training evolutions for Peleliu Sailors and 13th MEU Marines over a period of several months.

In June 2003 the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group supported elements of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit as they took part in an urban training scenario using abandoned buildings that were once part of a radar range complex at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. The ESG also provided force protection to the Marines as they conducted operations ashore.

Marines went ashore June 11, 2003 to collect intelligence on the numbers of enemy forces and locations of equipment, to assist in planning the eventual strike on the site. The attack began at about 10 p.m., June 13, when a raiding force of about 60 Marines came ashore in small boats to assault the mock encampment. Pilots in AH-1 Sea Cobra attack helicopters orbited overhead, training to provide fire support for the Marines on the ground. During the assault, Marines used a measured amount of plastic explosive to blow the doors off their hinges; in a real-life scenario, the resulting explosions would also give the assaulting force a tactical advantage by stunning anyone inside. By midnight, the encampment was secure and the exercise was complete.

In late July and early August 2003 the Peleliu ESG completed its Joint Task Force Exercise off the coast of Southern California. The road to deployment involved months of planning, the participation of more than 6,000 Sailors and Marines, and the blending of Navy and Marine Corps assets, such as Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs) and Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs). Working together in various scenarios, the Navy and Marine Corps team overcame many threats and injected troops into a range of locations that wouldn't have been possible with only one military force in the picture. During one part of the exercise at Camp Pendleton's Red Beach, Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) vehicles launched from USS Germantown (LSD 42) had to push back their landing time due to low visibility on the beach. Having completed their final training exercise, Expeditionary Strike Group ONE (ESG-1) was now ready for deployment.

The Peleliu deployed on August 22, 2003, (it had been scheduled to deploy in November 2003 but Operation Iraqi Freedom caused USS Saipan to deploy ahead of its schedule preventing it from deploying as the first ESG). ESG 1's deployment consisted of operations in Iraq, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa.

The group conducted humanitarian assistance and security and stabilization missions in Iraq, as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom Maritime Interception Operations on land in southern Iraq and at sea in the Persian Gulf. They also patrolled international waters in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa to deter the transport of terrorist personnel and equipment.

The patrols yielded success in December when ESG 1 units were involved in two separate interception operations in the Persian Gulf. The occurred on December 15th when USS Decatur (DDG 73) detained a dhow and its 12 crew members and seized upward of $10 million in hashish. Two weeks later, Peleliu and elements of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), along with USS Port Royal (CG 73) and USS Germantown (LSD 42), worked with Australian patrol aircraft in the detention of another dhow and its 15 crew members, seizing 2,800 pounds of hashish with an estimated street value of $11 million.

The drug seizure was not the only time the strike group would engage in coalition operations. ESG 1's most complex coalition mission came in January, when the group served as command and control for Exercise Sea Saber, a coalition maritime interdiction training exercise.

In late February 2004 the seven ships attached to Expeditionary Strike Group ONE returned following a six and a half month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.

Following a successful post deployment maintenance cycle, Peleliu began the demanding training cycle to prepare for her 2006 deployment

During this period, the crew distinguished themselves Navy-wide as they were awarded the ships’ first ever Battle Efficiency “E” Award for 2005.

The Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon was established July 1, 1974, by then-Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf to recognize ships and aviation squadrons who are the best in the fleet in all areas of battle readiness, during a specific 18-month fleet-wide competition.


In the 2005 Command Excellence Award Competition, Peleliu also won her first Command, Control, Communications and Information Warfare Excellence Award, fourth Logistics Management Excellence Award, fifth Engineering/Survivability Excellence Award, and eleventh Maritime Excellence Award.

On February 15 th, 2006, Peleliu and the men and women of Expeditionary Strike Group THREE (ESG 3), commanded by U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Carl Jensen, consisted of the Thirteenth Marine Expeditionary Squadron (Special Operations Capable) (13 th MEU(SOC)); Austin-class amphibious transport dock USS Ogden (LPD 5); Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73); Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57); Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 68); Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42); Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21; Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 11; Beach Master Unit (BMU) 1; Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5; Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1; and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit 11, Detachment 15.

Sailors and Marines of ESG THREE were instrumental in maintaining Maritime Security Operations (MSO) while assigned to the Fifth Fleet area of operation, which includes the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. MSO, which helps maintain the conditions for security and stability in the 5 th Fleet Operating Area. MSO denies international terrorists use of the maritime environment as an avenue for attacks or transportation lanes for weapons and personnel.

During this time Peleliu safely amassed over 5,337 flight deck evolutions while in the region, with more than 585 hours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Peleliu also hosted military and civilian leaders from various countries in the region, including the head of the Iraqi navy, and the U.S. Ambassadors to Qatar and Kuwait.

The Marine Corps component conducted various theater security cooperation (TSC) exercises with allies in the region, which included training foreign militaries on how to best fight the war against terrorism. They provided additional training to Iraqi security forces at Umm Qasr Naval Base on how to effectively defend the Iraqi oil terminals from attack.

Upon return from her deployment, Peleliu entered into a Planned Maintenance Availability (PMA) period where the ship is scheduled to receive the latest in war-fighting technology, which will allow the men and women of USS Peleliu to continue to serve our nation following the ship’s motto, “Peace Through Strength.”

Peleliu deployed in support of the Pacific Partnership mission 23 May - 20 September 2007. The mission included medical, dental, construction, and other humanitarian assistance programs ashore and afloat in the Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Marshall Islands. Medical personnel onboard Peleliu included medical teams from the U.S. Navy and 10 partner nations, and three Non-Governmental Organizations, including "Project Handclasp".

In 2008 she was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations. On 10 August 2008 she responded to a distress call from a merchant vessel, the Gem of Kilakari, which was being attacked by armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden north of Somalia. The attack was successfully halted with no injuries.

In August 2010, Peleliu was sent to Port of Karachi to enlist its 19 helicopters for the rescue effort during the 2010 Pakistan floods, the worst in Pakistan's history. During the deployment Captain David Schnell, the ship's commanding officer, was relieved of command and reassigned for being "unduly familiar" with several crewmembers. Captain Mark E. Cedrun, chief of staff for Expeditionary Strike Group 3, replaced Schnell as commander of the ship.

On 24 November 2010, Peleliu returned full circle and berthed in Subic Bay Free Port on its first visit since the evacuation of the Navy Station in 1991. The current deployment also had port visits in Phuket, Thailand. She returned home in December 2010.

 

patches

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu patch crest insignia  USS Peleliu LHA-5 crest insignia patch

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu insignia patch crest  USS Peleliu LHA-5 patch crest insignia

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu coin

 

LHA-5 USS Peleliu cruise patch  USS Peleliu LHA-5 cruise patch

 

 

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