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Lance Cpl. Josiah Rodriguez, from Los Angeles, assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), forward-deployed on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), fires a mortar shell during an exercise. America, flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike Group, along with the 31st MEU, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.