USS Wasp enters US 7th Fleet

US Navy amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) on January 6 entered the US 7th Fleet area of operations where it will replace USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) in Sasebo, Japan, as the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship.

Wasp departed Norfolk Aug. 30 and is entering the US 7th Fleet after nearly two months of disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean Sea.

While still in the initial phase of its transit, the ship diverted to the Caribbean on Sept. 4 to assist the US Virgin Islands and Dominica in the wake of Hurricane Irma and then provided assistance to Puerto Rico following hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm regarded as the worst natural disaster in the history of the American commonwealth island.

Once detached from relief efforts in late October, Wasp resumed her transit to 7th Fleet, briefly stopping in Rio de Janeiro and then transiting the Strait of Magellan as it crossed from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean. Wasp made a port visit to Joint Naval Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii in time for her crew to bring in the New Year ashore. She departed Jan. 2 to continue the journey toward Sasebo.

Seventh Fleet, which celebrates its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50% of the world’s population with between 5070 US ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.