USS IWO JIMA, U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility -- U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (August 29, 2012) – Ever wonder how deployed Marines and Sailors can stay combat effective while spending weeks, and sometimes months, deployed at sea in far off corners of the world? The affectionate term known as a RAS, which stands for replenishment at sea, keeps the U.S. Navy and embarked Marines aboard ready for any kind of mission that may come their way. A RAS is conducted with resupply ships that are loaded with fuel and supplies that are transferred to the operational ships while underway. For Marines and Sailors of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group aboard USS Iwo Jima spent the majority of the day Aug. 29, 2012, moving thousands of pounds of food and supplied from the flight deck of the ship down into the different storage areas throughout the ship. While fresh food and needed supplies are needed every few weeks, the bonus of the RAS for most service members is mail, which was also delivered to USS Iwo Jima during its recent RAS. The 24th MEU and IWO ARG are currently deployed to the U.S. Central Command and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility serving as a theater reserve providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.