USS Harpers Ferry docks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) moored at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Aug. 29.

This is the first stop in the U.S. since Harpers Ferry departed its homeport of San Diego for a seven-month deployment Feb. 12.

“Hawaii provides an opportunity for Harpers Ferry Sailors to rest and relax, bring aboard needed supplies, and embark friends and family for our upcoming Tiger Cruise,”
said the ship’s Executive Officer, Cmdr. John Ryan.

Since departing San Diego 199 days ago Harpers Ferry has covered 34,510 nautical miles and operated in the 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation.

“On this deployment the Marines were able to build relations and operational efficiency with the Korean and Jordanian militaries, which are both very important allies in those regions,” said Echo Company 1st Sgt. James Horr.

The ship participated in exercises Ssang Yong 16 in South Korea, Eager Lion 16 in Jordan, and conducted maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman as well as patrols in the South China Sea.

While on deployment, Harpers Ferry conducted 24 amphibious operations; 299 aircraft landings; six visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) boardings; 145 small boat operations; and supplied 387 volunteer hours of work during eight port visits. In addition, 520,000 meals have been served, 12,840 gallons of coffee and 153,360 eggs have been consumed, 24,851 rounds of ammunition were expended, and the movie “Groundhog Day” has played 213 times.

I feel like our ship was very successful this deployment in improving relations with the locals in all the ports we have visited; these COMRELS (community relations) really paint a picture to the locals of what we’re trying to do in those countries and bridge a gap between us,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Carlos Hall regarding the volunteer events conducted this deployment.