Iwo Jima Returns to Mayport

December 6, 2018 – USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), flagship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), returned to her homeport of Mayport, Florida, Dec. 4, after operating for nine weeks in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Iwo Jima went underway following a six-month deployment to participate in Trident Juncture 2018, a NATO-led exercise designed to certify NATO response forces and develop interoperability among participating NATO allied and partner nations. “This was an outstanding experience for the Navy and Marine Corps team on board,” said Capt. Joseph O’Brien, Iwo Jima’s…

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USS Iwo Jima Heading Home for Christmas

November 28, 2018 – USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), flagship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and embarked Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), departed the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Nov. 25, 2018. While in U.S. 6th Fleet, Iwo Jima participated in Trident Juncture 18, a NATO-led exercise designed to certify NATO response forces and develop interoperability among participating NATO ally and partner nations. The exercise ensured that NATO forces are trained and able to operate together and are ready to respond to any…

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Iwo Jima Arrives in Oslo

November 13, 2018 – More than 2,500 Sailors and Marines aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) arrived in Oslo, Norway Nov. 13, 2018 for a scheduled port visit. The ship arrived in Norway’s capital to enhance U.S.-Norway relations as the two nations continue to strengthen regional security and stability. While in port, the 2,500 sailors and Marines onboard will participate in several community relation projects and have the opportunity to experience the city’s culture, food and historical sites.  The ship will also host a reception…

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NATO Allies Meet for Trident Juncture 18 Pre-Sail Conference

October 22, 2018 – NATO allies gathered together in Reykjavik, Iceland for a Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO pre-sail conference in support of NATO-led exercise Trident Juncture 18 Oct. 20. The purpose of the conference was for all participating nations to finalize schedule components, greater understanding of the exercise overview and for senior leaders to meet their foreign colleagues face-to-face. Exercise Trident Juncture 18 will take place in Norway, Sweden, and Finland beginning this month, with expected participation of more than 50,000 troops from more than 30 NATO member…

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Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group Operating in US 6th Fleet

October 16, 2018 – The Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (IWOESG) continued its transit into the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations as part of a deployment in support of NATO exercise Trident Juncture 18. The strike group will join the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group and U.S. 6th Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) to comprise the U.S. ship support to the exercise. “We are excited to participate in Trident Juncture 18, which demonstrates the capabilities of a multinational amphibious force,” said Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2,…

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Iwo Jima, Gunston Hall, New York, MAGTF Depart for Trident Juncture 18

October 5, 2018 – More than 2,000 Sailors serving aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and USS New York (LPD 21) departed Oct. 2-3 for NATO-led exercise Trident Juncture 18. Iwo Jima and New York are homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, and Gunston Hall is homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia. The nearly 2,000 Marines with a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), built around the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit command element from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will also embark the…

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Iwo Jima Completes Six Month Deployment

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) returned to Mayport August 9 following a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operations. Deployed since Feb. 7 as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), the ship provided a ready, versatile amphibious assault capability and vigilant maritime presence to U.S. 5th and U.S. 6th Fleet, participating in exercises Juniper Cobra and Eager Lion. It also hosted a 10-day embarkation of 10 Egyptian naval officers to discuss concepts of amphibious naval operations and strengthen partner nation capabilities.…

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Iwo Jima, 26th MEU Complete MDVR

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and embarked Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Aqaba, Jordan, after completing a mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR) maintenance availability, July 13. MDVRs are scheduled availabilities to complete repairs and maintenance, allowing a ship to continue to be fully mission capable throughout the remainder of its deployment. “The MDVR gave us the opportunity to take seven days to focus on getting maintenance done and make sure that we remain ready to respond as required,” said Capt. Joseph R. O’Brien, Iwo Jima’s commanding officer.…

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Amphibious Training Event Begins Off Djibouti’s Coast

Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade has begun a two-week amphibious training event in international waters off the African coast of Djibouti. Alligator Dagger is the largest regional amphibious combat rehearsal to integrate and synchronize TF 51/5’s warfighting capabilities and those of adjacent U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and special operations forces units. “USS Iwo Jima’s Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are prepared to rehearse a variety of tactical capabilities in this demanding and globally vital region,” said Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Frank…

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USS Iwo Jima Port Visit in Haifa

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and components of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Haifa, Israel, March 14, to conduct a port visit after participating in the previously scheduled exercise Juniper Cobra 2018 (JC18). This is the first port visit in more than a month since the ship and nearly 2,500 embarked Sailors and Marines departed Naval Station Mayport, Florida, Feb. 7 as part of a regularly scheduled deployment. From March 6-13, approximately 600 Sailors and Marines from Iwo Jima and the 26th MEU teamed with Israeli Defense…

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Iwo Jima Completes Missile Exercise

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) successfully completed a missile exercise (MISSILEX) off the coast of Virginia, Feb. 9. Following the detection of the simulated threat, Iwo Jima fired one Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), striking a remotely controlled, subsonic missile drone meant to simulate an anti-ship cruise missile. SSDS is Iwo Jima’s primary defensive weapon, making maintenance on radars and weapons a top priority for the Combat Systems team. Year round, the crew tests the system’s sensors and missile cells, performs maintenance on its gears and motors, and conducts corrosion control…

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USS Iwo Jima Begins 2018 Deployment

More than 2,500 Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) departed the ship’s homeport of Naval Station Mayport, Florida, for a scheduled six-month deployment Feb. 7. The Navy-Marine Corps team will support maritime security operations, crisis response and theater security cooperation, while also providing a forward naval presence in Europe and the Middle East.  “We have been training for this since we returned from the last deployment,” said Capt. Joseph O’Brien, Iwo Jima’s commanding officer. “The Iwo Jima Navy-Marine Corps team brings a full…

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Iwo Jima ARG Completes Combined COMPTUEX

The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed their Combined Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) Dec. 9. Combined COMPTUEX is a scenario driven event used to certify ships for deployment. Carrier Strike Group 4 and Expeditionary Operations Training Group presented a broad spectrum scenario that included providing food, shelter and medical treatment to non-combatant evacuees; resupplying at sea with limited communications, and providing aerial and ship-to-shore support for Marine raids and an amphibious assault. “I think we really pushed the training envelope with…

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Iwo Jima Conducts Largest Replenishment in Two Years

Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) conducted their largest replenishment-at-sea in more than two years Dec. 1, receiving 181 pallets of supplies from the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 19). Previously, the largest replenishment-at-sea for the ship took place during Iwo Jima’s last deployment in 2015. “We had a good idea that this vertical replenishment (VERTREP) was going to be a long evolution, but the team effort led to a very successful, effective, and safe replenishment,” said Cmdr.…

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Iwo Jima Gets Back to Basics During RAS

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) turned back the clock on seamanship during a refueling-at-sea (RAS) with the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) Nov. 7. In a day where texting, selfies and video chatting dominate conversations, Iwo Jima Sailors harkened back to a day where communicating with symbols didn’t mean using an emoji. While steaming alongside at 13 knots at a distance of nearly 200 yards to port of its supplier, Sailors in the hangar bay, refueling stations and signal bridge “spoke” through Morse Code, flashing lights, signal…

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