US Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived in Phuket, Thailand, for a port visit on January 24.
Essex arrived in Thailand with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) after almost five weeks at sea.
“Our sailors and marines have been working tirelessly throughout the deployment, and this port visit gives them a chance to relax and strengthen the bonds between the US and Thailand through firsthand cultural experiences and exchanges,” said Capt. Brian Mutty, commanding officer of USS Essex. “We all understand that we are here to make an impression but also to enjoy our time in Phuket experiencing a different culture than what most of us are used to.”
The sailors and marines of the ESSEX amphibious ready group (ARG) will strengthen ties while hosting members of the Royal Thai Navy during a ship tour aboard Essex. The Royal Thai Navy sailors will visit the ship’s flight deck, well deck, bridge and the medical department to learn how Essex operates.
Essex and the 13th MEU are deployed to the US 7th Fleet area of operation to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.