Nearly 4,000 Sailors, Marines deploy from Norfolk and N.C. for scheduled deployment

USS Arlington leaves for Haiti (August 17) 2.PNG
Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 16:24:52-04

NORFOLK, Va — It's a bittersweet moment for families and military leaders. Sailors and Marines based in Hampton Roads left Wednesday for a scheduled deployment.

News 3 caught up with a Navy electrician right before he left as he said goodbye to his family.

Benny Hodgens, a electrician contracted with the Navy, said goodbye to his twin daughters. He told us although it's tough leaving them behind, he will be back soon.

"Luckily, I do PTS in May, so I get to come home early. I'm one of the few that doesn't have to stay the whole deployment, but I did deployment on this ship in 2018, 2019 so its definitely no joke. It's tough out there," said Hodgens.

About 4,000 Sailors and Marines deployed from Naval Station Norfolk on the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Assualt Ship and the USS Arlington to support security operations, crisis response and any other tasks that come their way. USS Gunston Hall is set to deploy later this month.

Navy leaders won't say where the group is going or for how long; however, this is a regularly scheduled deployment.

"We'll make it through when we get home and try to talk to family as much as we can. I didn't even have these little ones last time we deployed. It's awesome having them now; I'll be excited to come back home when they're done," said Hodgens.

Kearsarge, the ARG's flagship, has embarked staffs from Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Fleet Surgical Team 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4, Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and Beach Master Unit (BMU) 2.

Again military leaders could not tell us where they're going, but they're prepared to respond to situations worldwide as they monitor what's happening with Russia and Ukraine as they head over in that direction.

The 22nd MEU includes the command element; the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); the ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 2/6 (Reinforced); and the logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 26.