The primary war-fighting mission of the LHA-1 Tarawa class was to land and sustain U.S. Marines on any shore during hostilities. The ships served as the centerpiece of a multi-ship Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG). One LHA could carry a complete Marine battalion, along with the supplies and equipment needed in an assault, and land them ashore by either helicopter or amphibious craft. The Tarawa class was designed to operate independently or as a unit of a force, as a flagship or individual ship unit in both air and/or surface assaults.