SASEBO, Japan --- The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) departed Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo to complete a pre-deployment readiness assessment before transitioning to conduct operations as part of a routine patrol in the Indo-Pacific region, March 3.
Wasp is undergoing a Naval Surface Forces-led Ready for Sea Assessment (RFSA), led by the Type Commander (TYCOM) Material Inspection Team (TMIT), which evaluates the material condition of installed and portable equipment throughout the ship, as well as the crew's overall ability to operate safely at sea.
"What the crew of this ship has accomplished given the rigorous schedule of the ship is really amazing," said Wasp Command Master Chief Rudy Johnson II, who took over as Wasp's senior enlisted Sailor approximately a month and a half prior. "I am incredibly proud of the consistent 'can-do' attitude which emanates from these Sailors, and am very excited about the upcoming successes of this patrol."
Wasp, which is an F-35B Lighting II-capable ship, is forward-deployed to Sasebo as part of a Department of Defense effort to place the most advanced capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. Wasp arrived in Sasebo, Jan. 14, after a 28,400-mile journey from Norfolk that began in late August. The ship was diverted on the initial leg of her journey to assist in relief efforts following two hurricanes in the Caribbean, exemplifying just how versatile and critical an amphibious assault ship can be to move people and supplies ashore post-disaster.
Since arriving to Sasebo, the ship and crew have completed important maintenance and training, in addition to integrating into the local community.
The patrol is meant to enhance security and stability while building on partnership and alliances in the region. Wasp and other enabling capabilities set to deploy with her will serve to advance the U.S. Pacific Fleet's Up-Gunned Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) concept.
Wasp serves as part of the Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force, headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa.