USS Ashland returns to Sasebo

USS Ashland (LSD 48) returned to Sasebo after a successful routine patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations as part of Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), April 24. Ashland embarked several elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and specialized in a variety of missions to the full spectrum of MEU mission from the sea. Ashland’s configuration provided the Navy-Marine Corps team a mechanized raid capability with a contingent of Amphibious Assault Vehicles, combat air support with a detachment of AH-1Z Viper helicopters, and water purification capabilities from…

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Wasp ESG arrives in Okinawa to offload 31st MEU

The ships of the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) arrived in Okinawa, Japan on April 21, capping nearly two months of operations in the Indo-Pacific with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The patrol was a first-of-its kind deployment as an “Up-Gunned ESG,” combining two San Diego-based destroyers and the MEU’s F-35B Lighting II stealth fighter jet, which underwent its first operational employment from a U.S. Navy ship. “The ARG/MEU team composited with destroyers from COMTHIRDFLT to execute operations as an Up-Gunned ESG throughout this deployment. While remaining true to our…

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Wasp ESG, Embarked 31st MEU Sails from Okinawa for Indo-Pacific Patrol

Ships of the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) departed Okinawa, Japan March 19 after embarking more than 2,300 Marines and equipment of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The ESG and the MEU are now deployed together for a routine patrol in the Indo-Pacific region meant to strengthen regional alliances and be postured forward in the event of a contingency. “Once again the ARG [Amphibious Ready Group]-MEU team has come together as a well synchronized force to embark the MEU and deploy,” said Capt. Ed Thompson, Commodore, Amphibious Squadron 11,…

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USS Ashland Departs Sasebo for Final Readiness Drills, Regional Patrol

USS Ashland (LSD 48) departed Sasebo, Japan for an amphibious certification assessment and follow-on patrol in the Indo-Pacific, March 8. Ashland is deploying after several months of maintenance and training in preparation for a Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) that will take place in late spring. The amphibious certification assessment will test the ship’s ability to land and launch landing craft prior to upcoming amphibious operations. Ashland, assigned to the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), is scheduled to embark Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit associated equipment to…

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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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USS Ashland Completes Exercise Blue Chromite

USS Ashland (LSD 48) departed Okinawa Nov. 4 after completing of a series of amphibious operations as part of exercise Blue Chromite 18. Blue Chromite is a joint field training exercise held annually between the all four services though primarily focused on the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to strengthen naval integration and tactical proficiencies in amphibious warfare. Ashland embarked nearly 300 Marines with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment (1/3) who have been deployed to Okinawa for several months from Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The two services worked together…

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After rescuing female yachters, Ashland arrives in Okinawa

USS Ashland (LSD 48) arrived in Okinawa, Oct. 30, as part of a scheduled port visit to prepare for the joint U.S. exercise Blue Chromite. The port visit also serves as a disembarkation point for the two mariners who had been adrift in the Pacific Ocean for several months. The Ashland crew rescued Jennifer Appel, Natasha Fuiava, and Appel’s two dogs Zeus and Valentine Oct. 25 after they had been stranded at sea with a failed engine, a broken mast and were far from their intended destination of Tahiti. After…

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USS Ashland Departs Okinawa to Begin Blue Chromite 2018

USS Ashland (LSD 48) departed Okinawa Oct. 31, with embarked 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division to conduct Blue Chromite 2018. Blue Chromite is a joint field training exercise held annually between the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to strengthen interoperability and increase proficiencies through amphibious and aerial operations. “The purpose is to further our relationship with the Navy,” said Maj. Benjamin Cather IV, acting executive officer for 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. “The exercise will improve and ensure our amphibious and aerial capabilities. Force from sea, air and…

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USS Ashland assists distressed mariners in Pacific

The Sasebo-based amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) rendered assistance to two distressed mariners, Oct. 25, whose sailboat had strayed well off its original course. The mariners, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba, both from Honolulu, and their two dogs had set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti this spring. They had an engine casualty May 30 during bad weather but continued on, believing they could make it to land by sail. Two months into their journey and long past when they originally estimated they would reach Tahiti, they began…

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USS Ashland Arrives in Yokosuka for Training-Focused Stop in Indo-Asia-Pacific Deployment

USS Ashland (LSD 48), pulled into Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Oct. 2, for a training availability and to complete shipboard assessments and certifications. More than 150 Ashland Sailors-a significant portion of the crew-will take part in over five different schools including General Shipboard Firefighting, Aircraft Firefighting, Command Managed Equal Opportunity and Security Reaction Force-B training. The ship will also conduct three major certifications to include Fleet Support Operations-Medical, 3-M and Supply 1.2 during the port visit. “Training is vital to what we do,” said Lt. Christopher Barmore, the training officer onboard…

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BHR ESG ships, 31st MEU completes certification exercise

Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (BHR ESG), with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), completed a certification exercise (CERTEX) Aug. 18. CERTEX is conducted to evaluate the integration of all elements of the BHR ESG and the 31st MEU, testing their combined ability to plan and execute mission essential tasks. The Bonhomme Richard ESG consists of the flagship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Ashland (LSD 48) and USS Green Bay (LPD 20), which are all on patrol off the coast of Australia. CERTEX evolutions took place from August 12-18…

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Somali Pirate Sentenced to Life for 2010 Attack on USS Ashland

April 26, 2017 – Mohamed Farah, 31, of Somalia, was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison for engaging in piracy and committing other offenses pertaining to the attack on the USS Ashland, a U.S. Navy ship, in April 2010. Today’s announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Martin Culbreth of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office in Virginia, and Special Agent in Charge Maureen Evans of the…

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Bonhomme Richard Completes Patrol, Returns to Sasebo

April 10, 2017 – The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) arrived in Sasebo, Japan, completing its regularly-scheduled patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), April 10. Bonhomme Richard departed White Beach, Okinawa, after disembarking personnel, vehicles and equipment of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), April 8. “We completed some valuable training on this patrol,” said Capt. Jeffrey Ward, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer. “The crew did a fantastic job working with the Marines. We increased our level of knowledge and enhanced our readiness to respond,…

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