The U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship, USS Wasp (LHD-1) has arrived in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil after conducting hurricane relief operations in the Caribbean, on Nov. 30.
The ship will depart Rio De Janeiro on Dec. 3.
As Wasp takes over for Bonhomme Richard for a regularly-scheduled deployment next year, the crew will serve as the flagship for the Wasp ESG, which will include amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and one of two forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ships.
The shift will introduce an F-35B Joint Strike Fighter-capable amphibious assault ship to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, pairing it with the F-35Bs of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121.
The ESG also embarks Naval Beach Unit 7, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 and ground, air, and logistics elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The Up-Gunned ESG-MEU team is the premiere crisis response force in the Western Pacific. In addition to maintaining security in the region through presence and deterrence, the Wasp ESG will respond at a moment’s notice to any type of contingency, to include humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Wasp completed a six-month deployment late last year, during which the crew completed a certification validation, ensuring the ship’s readiness to join 7th Fleet.
USS Wasp (LHD-1)
USS Wasp (LHD-1) is a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship. She is the lead ship of her class, is the tenth USN vessel to bear the name, and was the flagship of the Second Fleet.
She was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Wasp, which is 257 m long (843 ft) with a beam of 32 meters (105 ft), accommodates the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, the tiltrotor MV-22 Osprey, conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.