US Navy Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) 1:350

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
The United States Navy regularly embarks Amphibious Ready Groups to exercises around the world. Both Joint exercises with other nations, and US training exercises to ensure that its amphibious operations are always proficient and ready at a moments notice should the need arise.

An ARG is made up of the following Amphibious vessels which are the center of the group:

1 x Wasp class LHD or America class LHA
1 x San Antonio Class LPD
1 x Harper's Ferry or Whidbey Island LSD

Each of these vessels is capable of carrying hundreds of US Marines and their equipment. In the case of the LHD/LHA it amounts to close to 2,000 Marines. The LPD can carry up to 800 Marines, and the LSD up to 500 Marines. So one ARG is capable of assaulting a beach by amphibious assault and/or air assault, or an inland target via air assault, with upwards of 3,300 US Marines.

Generally, these vessels have several supporting surface combatants. Usually that would consist of a couple of frigate sized vessels and a couple f Burke AEGIS destroyers,...and perhaps a Ticonderoga class cruiser.

The Wasp class or America class would generally be the Flagship of the group.

I have built an entire ARG to 1:350 scale. My AMphibious vessels include the following:

1 x USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, a Wasp Class LHD
1 x USS New York, LPD-21, a San Antonio Class LPD
1 x USS Harper's Ferry, a Harper's Ferry Class LSD.

Here are pictures of these vessels together:

USN-ARG-01.jpg USN-ARG-02.jpg USN-ARG-03.jpg USN-ARG-04.jpg USN-ARG-05.jpg

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
Now lets show the whole group with its surface escorts. I have two Burke class DDGs, one a Flight I and one a Flight IIA. I also have two Independence class LCS, one outfitted for counter-mine operations and one for ASW operations, although the MCM vessel can also perform ASW.

Note that ultimately, the Zumwalt class will often accompany ARGs because of their superior fires upport capabilities, as will the America class, air centric LHS because f its superior air support capabilities. One day when they have 1:350 scale models of these, I will add them to my ARG.

As it is, here is the entire group with its escorts as I have it:

USN-ARG-11.jpg USN-ARG-12.jpg USN-ARG-13.jpg USN-ARG-14.jpg USN-ARG-15.jpg

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
More pictures of each of the vessels in the group:

USN-ARG-16.jpg USN-ARG-17.jpg USN-ARG-18.jpg USN-ARG-19.jpg USN-ARG-20.jpg

This is a powerful capability.

the US Navy's goals is to maintain 12 of these groups, meaning, depending on whether the US was required to surge all vessels available at a given time, anywhere from five to eight groups could be available at one time.

A powerful force for sure.

But then consider that the US Navy regularly trains with alied who also have powerful ambhibious capabilities, albeit not in as great numbers. These include:

The Royal Navy
The French
The Japanese
The Australians
The Koreans
The Italians

...and others. Soon Turkey and Egypt will also have similar capabilities and will be training with the US too. In a large conflict, this would mean that very large amphibious or air assault capabilities could be planned.

Not to mention what help and assistance such large groups could provide in disasters when large scale humanitarian assistance was needed.

I hope you enjoy browsing through my 1:350 scale ARG fleet.

I also have 1:350 scale Aircraft Carrier Battle groups for each of the major naval forces who embark them.

You can see each of these ships and how they were build at:

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Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator


Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
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Pacific Sentinel said:
USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and USS Comstock (LSD 45) sail in formation during CERTEX off the coast of Southern California. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Larry S. Carlson

PACIFIC OCEAN - Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) successfully completed a two-week Certification Exercise (CERTEX) Sept. 22 off the coast of Southern California.
CERTEX is the final integrated training event for the Makin Island ARG and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) before deployment.

"The Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU performed especially well during CERTEX," said Capt. Michael Crary, commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5. "The scenarios we faced during the evolution were realistic and represented the variety of situations we may encounter on deployment. We were tested on our ability to operate in an unpredictable environment, and the team did so effectively and with precision."

This was a comprehensive, complex training evolution that combined the full gamut of the Navy and Marine Corps maritime and ship-to-shore capabilities.

"The Marines and Sailors of the Makin Island ARG-11th MEU have demonstrated the ability to plan and execute a full range of missions from combat operations to humanitarian assistance with competence and professionalism," said Marine Col. Clay C. Tipton, 11th MEU commanding officer.
The ARG-MEU team was evaluated on their responses to multiple scenarios, testing their ability to operate in several mission-critical areas including maritime boarding, combat flight operations, amphibious beach landings, air defense, mass casualty reception and treatment, and a noncombatant evacuation.

"This team started the work-up cycle strong and was committed to building proficiency with each training repetition," said USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Commanding Officer Capt. Mark A. Melson. "Bottom line -- this team is ready for complex, broad-spectrum combat operations, and our combatant commanders know that we are ready for tasking on day one."

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Wehmeyer, the amphibious warfare subject matter expert for Carrier Strike Group 15 and lead planner for the CERTEX scenarios, said the Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU set the bar for the amphibious Navy during the exercise.

"This was the most complex and intense CERTEX scenario that an ARG-MEU has faced to date," said Wehmeyer. "The reason we've been able to continually push harder and harder is because [the team has] been able to step up and meet that challenge."

The Makin Island ARG is commanded by Commander, Amphibious Squadron 5 and consists of Makin Island, San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25), Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) and more than 2,400 Marines from the 11th MEU.

The ARG-MEU team completed the first work-up phase, PHIBRON-MEU integration, in July, which presented their first opportunity to train together during staff-planning and amphibious landing exercises. The second phase, Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), was completed in August and allowed the ARG-MEU team to refine their integrated approach to mission planning while cohesively conducting a variety of sea-based operations.

The Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU are making final preparations for an upcoming deployment.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the eastern Pacific Ocean and engages in joint, interagency and international relationships that strengthen the ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.[/quiote]