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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Bonhomme Richard Arrives in Okinawa, Conducts Final Offload of 31st MEU

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Okinawa to conduct the final offload of 31st MEU equipment, vehicles, and personnel, Sept. 19. Bonhomme Richard departed Sasebo, Japan, for a regularly-scheduled deployment in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), June 1. During the deployment, Bonhomme Richard and the 31st MEU participated in the bilateral, biennial U.S.-Australia exercise Talisman Saber 2017 (TS17), completed amphibious integration training (AIT) and certified as fully capable during the 31st MEU’s certification exercise (CERTEX). “The accomplishments of our…

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USS Ross Begins Fifth FDNF Patrol

April 3, 2017 – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain to begin its fifth scheduled forward-deployed patrol in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe April 3. Ross’s patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations serves to bolster relationships with allies and regional partners, and its participation in theater exercises will contribute toward improving our maritime forces and maintaining security and stability in the region.

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