Monday, June 27, 2016

Wasp gets underway on its first major deployment in more than a decade

Wasp is back in the fight.
The 27-year-old gator, which last deployed in 2004, got underway Saturday morning as part of a 4,000-strong Amphibious Ready Group that includes dock landing ship Whidbey Island and amphibious transport dock San Antonio. The trio will carry the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on a planned six-month pump to 5th Fleet, where ARG commanders fully expect to tangle with ISIS.
Though among the oldest in the fleet (all three are first-of-class), the ships carry some of the newest sailors and systems — and a palpable readiness.
"This team is ready," said Capt. Byron Ogden, who commands the ARG as well as Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6. "We've been put through the paces, we've gone through a very extensive training cycle, and have hit the mark time and time again. I have the utmost faith and confidence in every one of those sailors and Marines on all three of these mighty warships that we will do our nation's bidding."
He reiterated the flexibility of his team, and the likelihood its skills will be put to the test in a wide variety of missions and locations. Disaggregated operations have been a hallmark of work ups. Ogden said he fully expects to disperse different leadership teams to the appropriate ships to provide "the right level and scalable force necessary to accomplish the desire task."  more