USS Iwo Jima continues Middle East deployment after repairs in Jordan

US Navy amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and embarked Marines have completed mid-deployment voyage repairs (MDVR) in Aqaba, Jordan.

The ship and marines resumed their Middle East deployment on July 13 after a week of repairs, inspections and cleaning.

MDVRs are scheduled availabilities to complete repairs and maintenance, allowing a ship to continue to be fully mission capable throughout the remainder of its deployment.

“The MDVR gave us the opportunity to take seven days to focus on getting maintenance done and make sure that we remain ready to respond as required,” said Capt. Joseph R. O’Brien, Iwo Jima’s commanding officer. “It also gives us the opportunity to prepare the ship to come back home by doing an agricultural wash-down of all the vehicles and all the equipment that was brought on board.”

Contractors came aboard the ship from locations such as Forward Deployed Regional Maintenance Center Bahrain and Southeast Regional Maintenance Center Mayport, Florida, to assist the crew with repairs.

The week was spent washing down vehicles, equipment and containers in wash racks aboard the Royal Jordanian Naval Base for agricultural inspections. They washed approximately 300 major end-items and cleaned, inventoried and inspected thousands of additional items.

Some of the other tasks conducted by Sailors and Marines during the MDVR included repairs to vital radars and the ship’s mast, engineering plant upkeep and ship preservation.

Before pulling in to Aqaba, the crew knew the great amount of work that was in store for them and prepared to get it done safely and efficiently.

“Preparation for the MDVR was an all-hands effort,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Andrew Frasca, a member of Iwo Jima’s Deck Department. “From undesignated seaman all the way to the commanding officer, we were well prepared to complete the tasks at hand with zero mishaps.”

Marines assigned to the 26th MEU also took part in sustainment training during the port visit, with elements of Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment (BLT 2/6) and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 26 conducting live-fire ranges at Camp Titin.

Additionally, the Maritime Raid Force conducted combat dive, military freefall, close quarters tactics, and team tactics training at Camp Titin and King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center.

Iwo Jima is flagship of the Iwo Jima amphibious ready group which embarks the 26th MEU and is comprised of Iwo Jima, the transport dock ship USS New York (LPD-21), the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51). Other units include Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 4 and 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and the embarked staff of commander, Amphibious Squadron 4.

Photo: Sailors wash down the forward mast yard arms of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). Photo: US Navy