The Norfolk-based amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) headed for the Middle East area recently amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, according to a report.
USNI News reported late last week that the Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, was on its way to the area with an embarked Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to conduct “routine” operations, citing a U.S. 6th Fleet spokesperson.
The Marines aboard that ship were set to join Army soldiers from the 82nd Airborne who had already been sent to Iraq following the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani last Thursday, USNI reported.
The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group reportedly arrived off the coast of Morocco last week after deploying from the East Coast in December.
The Bataan is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship that was commissioned in 1997. She was one of the first ships to spring into action after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, acting as a hospital ship in New York Harbor. She also made two deployments during the Iraq War, provided relief to Hurricane Katrina victims, and served as a naval testbed for evaluation of the V-22 Osprey.