USS Wasp strike group departs Sasebo for patrol of Western Pacific
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — Two U.S. warships have left their homeport in southern Japan for a mission in the Western Pacific.
The USS Wasp amphibious-assault ship and the USS Ashland landing-dock ship departed Sasebo Naval Base this week for a deployment that marks only the second time F-35B Lighting II stealth fighters have embarked aboard the Wasp.
The Iwakuni-based short-takeoff, vertical-landing aircraft operated from the ship for the first time during a patrol earlier this year. The test of the “upgunned expeditionary strike group” concept included the guided-missile destroyers USS Dewey and USS Sterett and Marines from the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
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