USS BATAAN, U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations (NNS) — Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group sat down for dinner with Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander U.S. Central Command, and Brig. Gen. Francis Donovan, Commander, Task Force 51 and Commander, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, May 14.
Gen. Votel and Brig. Gen. Donovan were welcomed aboard to view a visit, board, search, and seizure training evolution conducted by the Maritime Reconnaissance Force, from the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, for exercise Eager Lion 2017. Following the training evolution, they toured the ship’s medical spaces, engineering spaces, the well deck, the ship’s museum and finished with a dinner with Sailors and Marines on the mess decks.
During his short time board Votel took a few moments to address the Sailors and Marines over the ship’s 1MC.
“Your efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. What you do is important, regardless of what space you work in, your rank, your rate, or your MOS [military occupational specialties],” said Votel. “Without your service and sacrifice, I could not accomplish my mission, which is to enable military operations and activities with our allies and partners, increasing regional security and stability in support of enduring U.S. interests.”
The Sailors and Marines were honored to have had an opportunity to dine with Gen. Votel and speak candidly about their families and their experiences on deployment since leaving the U.S. March 1.
“They were very friendly and social; much more curious to get to know each one of us than I expected. It was great to meet the people who are responsible for our current area of operations,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Maria Otero.
Eager Lion 17 is an annual U.S. Central Command exercise in Jordan designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships between the U.S., Jordan and other international partners. This year’s iteration features nearly 7,200 military personnel from more than 20 nations that will respond to scenarios involving border security, command and control, cyber defense and battlespace management.
The USS Bataan and its ready group are deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations designed to reassure allies and partners, and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region.
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