An amphibious force loaded with Marine aircraft for the ISIS fight entered U.S. Central Command Tuesday.
The amphibious assault ship Boxer, dock landing ship Harpers Ferry and amphibious transport dock New Orleans, with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked, were in the Indian Ocean when they entered 5th Fleet, the Boxer said in a news release.
The 13th MEU aviation combat element includes AV-8B Harriers, MV-22 Ospreys and UH-1Y Venom.
"I look forward to leading the force as we execute missions and tasking at the pointy end of the spear in the 5th Fleet," said Capt. Keith Moore, commander of Amphibious Squadron 1, in the release.
The Boxer joins the Truman Carrier Strike Group, which has been launching F/A-18 Hornets off the carrier Harry S. Truman's deck bound for airstrikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria for three months.
Before entering 5th Fleet, the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and the 13th MEU participated in the massive amphibious exercises with South Korea in March. They also visited Hong Kong and Phuket, Thailand. The ARG and MEU of 4,500 troops is replacing the Kearsarge ARG, which left 5th Fleet in April.
The U.S. Air Force is providing the bulk of the coalition's air war on ISIS, with airplanes like the B-1 Lancer and F-15 Eagle dropping the most bombs.