The Bataan amphibious ready group is heading home after an eventful eight-month deployment to the region.

Navy officials said Friday that the Norfolk, Va.-based ready group — comprised of the USS Bataan, the USS Mesa Verde, the USS Gunston Hall and the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit — has left the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, where its air combat element had been conducting strike missions against the Islamic State in Iraq, and flying intelligence-gathering missions over Iraq and Syria.

The group has been replaced in the Middle East by the San Diego, Calif.-based Makin Island amphibious ready group after a 21-day extension in the region. […]