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    Pentagon Weighs Extending USS Bataan and Marine Expeditionary Unit Deployment in Middle East Amid Turmoil

    Pentagon Weighs Extending USS Bataan and Marine Expeditionary Unit Deployment in Middle East Amid Turmoil

    The Pentagon is considering extending a deployment for Marines and sailors who have been operating in the Middle East and Mediterranean since the summer, according to a defense official, a potentially lengthy extension amid questions over the readiness of Navy ships that could relieve them.

    The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, or ARG, which includes roughly 2,000 Marines, has been patrolling the waters in and around the Middle East after deploying in July, and at one point this fall, it was headed to the waters off Israel as a crisis response following the start of the Israel-Hamas war in .

    Now, as the Pentagon looks to keep a deterrent in the region as it seemingly plummets into further turmoil each day, service members with the Bataan may be deployed for almost a year in total. Along with the USS Bataan, the USS Carter Hall and USS Mesa Verde are also part of the amphibious ready group.

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    “Deterrence is back on the table and, if you thought we forgot about the Middle East, you're wrong,” one defense official told .com. The Bataan could be deployed until May or June — a total of roughly 11 months, according to the defense official. CBS reported Thursday that the Bataan was deployed “indefinitely.”

    For the Pentagon, the amphibious groups represent a mobile, first-response force for…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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