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U.S. Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Alysa Sanchez of Las Cruces signals to an AV-8B Harrier attached to Marine Attack Squadron 214, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), as it takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), Jan. 4, 2022. Essex, flagship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), along with the 11th MEU, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in the Indian Ocean to enhance interoperability with alliances and partners, and serving as a ready response force to ensure maritime security and a free and open Indo-Pacific Region, the Navy said.