USS Porter wraps up European patrol

US Navy destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) returned to its Spain homeport on July 27, completing its fifth forward deployed naval forces (FDNF) patrol. Porter departed Naval Station Rota on April 2, to conduct naval operations in the US 6th Fleet area of operations, interacting with 20 countries in the process. During the patrol, Porter completed maritime operations with the Truman carrier strike group, engaged in interoperability training with Naval Special Warfare Unit 2, and participated in exercise Sea Breeze 2018. Additionally, the ship hosted a total of 31 midshipmen…

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USS Ronald Reagan Completes CORE I

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) completed Core I, June 16. CORE I is an inspection designed to assess crew proficiency in damage control and navigation, as well as shipboard training team efficiency. Throughout the inspection, these areas of focus were observed and tested by inspectors from Afloat Training Group (ATG) Western Pacific. “The whole array of fundamental damage control casualties, such as fire, flooding and toxic gas, was looked at,” said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Supple, Ronald Reagan’s damage control assistant. “Additionally, we demonstrated some of the more varsity scenarios, like…

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USS Ronald Reagan Departs Yokosuka for Sea Trials

The forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), departed for sea trials, May 11, after successfully completing a two-day fast cruise. The week-long sea trials are designed to test the ship’s systems and equipment after a four-month selected restricted availability involving combined maintenance teams from the ship, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center. “This is what we have been working towards for these last few months,” said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “Everyone involved has made it possible…

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USS Wasp completes historic patrol in Indo-Pacific Patrol

USS Wasp (LHD 1) returned to Sasebo, April 26, after nearly two months of operations in the Indo-Pacific with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Wasp successfully embarked, maintained, and supported near-daily flight operations of the F-35B Lightning II in that span, part of a first-ever operational deployment of the U.S. Marine Corp’s fifth-generation stealth jet. The operations were part of a routine and regularly scheduled patrol but brought together two San Diego-based destroyers to flex the composite of amphibious ships as an “Up-Gunned Expeditionary Strike Group.” “The crew worked…

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USS Milius Departs San Diego to forward deploy to 7th Fleet

USS Milius (DDG 69), a ballistic missile defense (BMD) capable guided missile destroyer, will leave her homeport of San Diego, April 20, to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Japan. Milius will be forward deployed to Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan and is scheduled to arrive at the end of May. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers perform key roles in support of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups or surface action groups. Destroyers are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence. These combatants operate in…

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Navy establishes command to ensure readiness of warships forward deployed in Japan

Commander, Naval Surface Group Western Pacific (CNSG WP) was officially established in Japan to oversee the Forward Deployed Naval Force Japan (FDNF-J) surface ship maintenance, training, and certification on April 11, 2018. In October 2017, U.S. Pacific Fleet established a Detachment, Naval Surface Group Western Pacific as an interim organization to protect the balance between operations, maintenance, and training requirements. Now a permanent command, the name of this organization has changed to CNSG WP. It will serve as Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet’s (CNSP) executive agent responsible to…

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USS Bonhomme Richard conducts readiness for sea assessment

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) departed Sasebo, Japan, Jan. 23, to conduct its second day of a readiness for sea Assessment following the completion of a four-month in port maintenance period. The assessment, which requires a day of at-sea operations, takes place in advance of a regularly scheduled patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The Naval Surface Forces-led assessment evaluates the crew’s proficiency in propulsion and navigation, as well as equipment essential to operating at sea, in order to certify the ship as ready for deployment. “The…

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USS Wasp arrives in Japan to join forward deployed naval forces

USS Wasp (LHD 1) arrived in Sasebo, Japan, Jan. 14, completing a 28,400-mile journey from Norfolk, Va. that began in late August. Wasp, which has undergone significant upgrades to be able to land and launch the U.S. Marine Corp’s F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, will replace USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in 7th Fleet. The force structure change has been long-planned as part of a Department of Defense effort to position the most advanced and capable assets forward in support of partners and allies. Wasp’s…

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USS Ross Departs on Sixth FDNF Patrol

USS Ross (DDG 71) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain, Jan. 8, to begin its sixth forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. The ship’s patrol is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to strengthening strategic partnerships in the European and African region. “After a challenging and productive in-port period, Team Ross is excited to be back on mission in the European Theater of Operations. As we begin our sixth FDNF patrol, we look forward to building relations with our NATO allies and…

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USS Donald Cook Returns to Port Following FDNF Patrol

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) returned to Naval Station Rota, Nov. 17, after conducting its sixth forward-deployed naval forces patrol.  While on patrol, Donald Cook participated in exercises Saxon Warrior 2017, Joint Warrior 2017, Formidable Shield 2017 and Dogu Akdeniz 2017, to further stability and security in the region. “It has been a very exciting patrol for me,” said Cmdr. Matt Powel, commanding officer of Donald Cook. “The crew performed outstandingly over the last four months. I am amazed and humbled by their professionalism and resiliency.”  Multinational exercises like the…

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USS Ashland Returns to Sasebo

USS Ashland (LSD 48) arrived at its forward-deployed base in Sasebo, Japan, Nov. 8, after completing a five-month deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Ashland departed Sasebo, May 26, and during five months at sea, completed multiple exercises, assessments and certifications, as well as several port visits. “What a great success story for the crew,” said Cmdr. Steven Wasson, Ashland’s commanding officer. “Five months out at sea with all of their earned qualifications and training completed. It’s very impressive how they excelled at every corner.” Ashland teamed with Marines of the…

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Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Iwakuni brings first aircraft into new hangar

Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Iwakuni inducted its first aircraft for maintenance in its new hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Sept. 22, 2017. The center’s new hangar increases MCAS Iwakuni’s readiness capabilities by mitigating the need for aircraft to travel to a different location to perform depot-level maintenance. “The impact to the air station is that we provide readiness,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Matthew Edwards, commanding officer of FRCWP. “We are here any time an aircraft is damaged and requires repair beyond the capability at the…

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Bonhomme Richard Concludes Final Seventh Fleet Deployment

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) returned to Sasebo, Japan, after completing a four-month deployment in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Sept. 25. While deployed to the South Pacific, Bonhomme Richard, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), participated in the bilateral, biennial U.S.-Australia exercise Talisman Saber 2017, completed amphibious integration training (AIT), successfully certified during the 31st MEU’s certification exercise (CERTEX) and completed an amphibious maritime warfare (AMW) evaluation. Additionally, Bonhomme Richard conducted port visits to Australia’s cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, during which many Sailors…

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VFA-115 closes out 31 years of operations at NAF Atsugi

The Eagles of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 departed Naval Air Facility Atsugi for the final time, Sept. 10. The squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornets launched from Atsugi to begin a regularly scheduled patrol aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. At the conclusion of the patrol, the Eagles will disembark Reagan for their new home of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. The squadron initially arrived at Atsugi in 1973 when Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 and the USS Midway (CV…

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