USS Whidbey Island departs UAE after mid-voyage repairs

U.S. Navy amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and embarked Marines of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, after completing a mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR), October 12.

MDVRs are used to complete repairs and maintenance that will allow the ship to continue fully mission capable throughout the remainder of its deployment.

Some of the tasks Whidbey Island’s sailors and marines completed were deck repairs, preservation, amphibious assault vehicle maintenance, and generator repairs.

“Our MDVR was extremely successful; the level of effort put forth by our Navy and Marine Corps team was just phenomenal,” said Cmdr. Ethan Rule, commanding officer of Whidbey Island. “Every department, division, and platoon completed extensive work and were also able to enjoy a fantastic liberty outing in Dubai. Whidbey Island stands ready for the remaining months of deployment.”

Before pulling in to Dubai, the crew knew the scope of the workload ahead of them, and prepared themselves to tackle it head-on.

While the port call was a working port, Sailors and Marines had the opportunity to participate in a community relations project at an animal welfare center and a “Sunset Safari” tour offered through Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. The trip included an off-road excursion over sand dunes, camel rides, and a traditional Middle Eastern meal.

Whidbey Island is deployed as part of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. Commander, Amphibious Squadron 6 commands the Wasp ARG, which consists of Whidbey Island, amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio, and amphibious assault ship USS Wasp. The 22nd MEU is currently embarked on the Wasp ARG.