The U.S. Navy amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) completed its mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR) while pierside in Duqm, Oman, Aug. 12.
The seven-day port visit allowed the crew and contractors to perform vital repairs and maintenance to ventilation, plumbing, lagging, and the ship’s aft close-in weapons system (CIWS), but also gave Sailors and Marines the opportunity to get off the ship to explore a new place.
“Deployments are a demanding and challenging time, not only for the Sailor and Marines onboard Harpers Ferry, but for our equipment as well,” said Cmdr. Janice Pollard, Harpers Ferry’s commanding officer. “This time in Duqm ensures our 24-year-old warship and every Sailor and Marine aboard are ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”
Duqm’s location near the Strait of Hormuz, a key naval chokepoint, makes it a strategic waypoint for forces deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. Services in Duqm have expanded in recent years, offering the U.S. Navy a wide range of logistic and repair capabilities for port visits.
“The opportunity to execute our MDVR in Duqm has been great for the crew,” said Pollard. “Not only have we been able to take care of the ship, but we’ve also been able to experience the Omani culture while on liberty.”
The main purpose of the port visit was maintenance but Sailors and Marines also enjoyed some services and events at the pier coordinated by the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Department including food vendors, basketball, soccer, volleyball, open mic night, talent show, and field day Olympics.
“I feel like people really enjoyed themselves,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jaclyn Anderson, Harpers Ferry’s MWR vice president. “We had music, games, and even though it was a working port people were able to have some fun and unwind after spending so many days at sea without being on land.”
Harpers Ferry is part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Keypher Strombeck, Amphibious Squadron Five