Home » Aviation » USS Wasp Stops in Pearl Harbor; Nearing New Homeport of Sasebo, Japan


USS Wasp Stops in Pearl Harbor; Nearing New Homeport of Sasebo, Japan

USS Wasp (LHD 1) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a schedule port visit on Dec. 28, 2017. Wasp is transiting to Sasebo, Japan to conduct a turnover with the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the forward-deployed flagship of the amphibious forces in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. US Navy photo.

Amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a final port visit on Dec. 28, ahead of making the final leg of the voyage to the ship’s new home in Japan.

Wasp departed Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on Aug. 30 to begin its move to Sasebo, Japan, where it will replace USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) as the forward-deployed big-deck amphib in U.S. 7th Fleet.

Once in Japan, Wasp will begin preparations for its first Amphibious Ready Group(ARG)/Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) deployment of 2018, which will be the first ever to include the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter as part of the aviation combat element.

Wasp returned one year ago from a Middle East deployment, its first in 12 years, and began making preparations for a quick move to Japan and a first F-35B deployment as early as the fall of 2017. The move was delayed a bit, and then when Wasp departed Norfolk in early September it was rerouted to help respond to post-hurricane disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean. Wasp was the first ship to arrive in the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma decimated the islands, and a month later the amphib joined the relief effort in Puerto Rico.

USS Wasp (LHD 1) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a schedule port visit on Dec. 28, 2017. Wasp is transiting to Sasebo, Japan to conduct a turnover with the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the forward-deployed flagship of the amphibious forces in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. US Navy photo.

After wrapping up its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission in late October, the big-deck stopped at Naval Station Mayport in Florida for a quick maintenance and resupply period before resuming the move to Japan. Wasp sailed down the East Coast of North and South America, passed through the Strait of Magellan at the southern tip of Chile, entered the Pacific, and has now paused for a port call in Hawaii before continuing on to its new home port.

  • muzzleloader

    For a place as distinguished in history and naval lore as Pearl Harbor, the term “Joint Base Pearl Harbor/Hickam” is hard for me to get used to.

    • DaSaint

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Ctrot

      They will always be Pearl Harbor Naval Base and Hickam Field to me.

    • Kenneth Millstein

      I couldn’t agree with you more! AYE, AYE Sir!

    • Rocco

      Agreed!!!!!

  • DaSaint

    Great shot of the Wasp passing the Missouri. Didn’t realize she still had her Phalanx CIWS mounts. Interesting…

    • muzzleloader

      A great shot indeed. If it weren’t for the phalanx, the The shot could almost pass for a flashback, as CV-7.

      • Duane

        Yup, very similar visually, though she displaces about twice as much as her predecessor Wasp. However, with the diminuative size of naval fighters of that day (the F-4F Wildcat), the old Wasp could carry a lot more aircraft than LHD-1 – up to about 100 or so.

      • Rocco

        It would of been cool if a real wildcat could of taken a ride on the bow!

    • Kenneth Millstein

      Why not! You never know when and if she may one day be called to use them.

      • DaSaint

        You have a point! If we can afford to keep her suitably equipped, and she’s inactive, then every active combatant and auxiliary should likewise have at least 1 Phalanx CIWS, 2 if appropriate.

        • Rocco

          This will never happen unfortunately!

  • battlestations

    Am I seeing, or not seeing correctly; Wasp only has 1 anchor? The Navy THAT broke?

    • Ed L

      Looks like one anchor is missing

      • Buzz

        Yep,
        At the bottom of the pacific.

        They had to cut it loose after a major anchor windlass casualty.

        I am rebuilding the entire system in Japan.

    • Buzz

      See above

  • Duane

    With the F-35B suddenly these Wasp class LHDs are much more lethal warships. It’s great to see this finally happen.

  • publius_maximus_III

    I tend to think of this type ship as basically a USMC vessel being driven by a USN skeleton crew, but this photo of a large assembly in whites manning the rail shows just the opposite. Are the USMC F-35B pilots and flight/maintenance support the only Marines aboard, or does it also have quarters for an MEU?

    FYI Mayport: Environmentally friendly paint sucks.

    • muzzleloader

      Since the Wasp is in transit all the way from Norfolk, it is likely that ships company is all that is aboard. The Marine Air Wing, along with any other Marines that would embark with Wasp, are already in theatre.

    • Buzz

      Yes. Lots of room for an MEU in addition the air wing.

  • Kenneth Millstein

    I would like to know what the name WASP is taken from. Please explain. Thank you.

    • Ctrot

      Taken from Wikipedia, was going to share a link but apparently that is verboten.

      USS Wasp (1775) was a merchant schooner purchased by the Continental Navy in late 1775 and destroyed in 1777
      USS Wasp (1807) was a sloop constructed in 1806 and captured during the War of 1812
      USS Wasp (1810) was a schooner built in 1810 and sold after 1814
      USS Wasp (1813) was a sloop chartered in 1813 and returned to her owners in 1814
      USS Wasp (1814) was a ship-rigged sloop-of-war constructed in 1813 and lost in a storm at sea in 1814.
      USS Wasp (1865), originally the captured Confederate Emma Henry, renamed Wasp in June 1865 and found unfit for further service in 1876
      USS Wasp (1893), was the first steam yacht Columbia launched 1893 by William Cramp, acquired and commissioned in 1898 by the Navy and used as a training ship until sold in 1919
      USS Wasp (SP-1159), a steel-hulled motorboat, was leased by the U.S. Navy and performed patrol duties in 1917
      USS Wasp (CV-7), laid down in 1936, was an aircraft carrier that saw action in World War II until sunk by Japanese submarine I-19 in September 1942
      USS Wasp (CV-18) an aircraft carrier launched in 1943 and served until 1972
      USS Wasp (LHD-1) is an amphibious assault ship launched in 1989 and in active service

    • Secundius

      Before 1748 in Dover, England there was a Royal Navy Coastal Artillery Battery called HMS Wasp. Probably because “of one with many Stings”. Gunners posted there gave the Place It’s Name. First Sailing Vessel to be called Wasp was an 8-gun Sloop in 1749…

    • Rocco

      Other than the Name all amphibs of the wasp class were traditionally named after the Essex class carriers! Except for the new America class!!

  • jon spencer

    Lots of rust showing and where is the starboard anchor?

    • Buzz

      At the bottom of the pacific.

      They had to cut it loose after a major anchor windlass casualty.

      I am rebuilding the entire system in Japan.

  • kye154

    This article is a lot of “Hoopla”, but there were problems with the Wasp. The biggest was In September of 2015, Stars and Stripes ran an article about the Wasp. The Pentagon’s top weapons tester, Michael Gilmore, director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office, wrote in a report in July of that year, that the F-35B exercise was so flawed that it “was not an operational test… in either a formal or informal sense of the term.” Furthermore, the test “did not — and could not — demonstrate” that the version of the F-35 that was evaluated “is ready for real-world operational deployments, given the way the event was structured.” For the test to be “bona fide,” it would have had to be under “conditions that were much more representative of real-world operations than those that were used during this deployment.”

    The only reason why the Wasp was moved to Japan, was to relieve the Bonhomme Richard. Also, the Wasp was the least deployed of all of the LPDs in the class throughout its entire history afloat.. It was not deployed anywhere from 2004 to 2015. So, from that standpoint its probably big news, but take notice, they don’t say what the other problems were for the Wasp to be laid up for so long.

    • Ctrot

      Wasp wasn’t “laid up” 2004-2015, she operated all along the atlantic coast and in the Caribbean.

      • kye154

        Yeah, not very far from home, and she never went across the Atlantic or Pacific during that time too. Her longest “cruise” was 4 months during that time. All good indications she had major problems not to stray beyond the home waters.

        • Ctrot

          Maybe so, but she wasn’t “laid up” 2004-2015 which was my point.

          • E7M

            Wasp did go across the Atlantic all the way to the Persian Gulf Oct-Dec ’07 taking the first Marine Osprey Squadron to deploy to the Middle East. Did mine-sweeping exercise in the Gulf in Nov ’07 and returned to Norfolk in December. Wasp had left in September for PanamEx and ended up doing Humanitarian help for hurricane hit Nicaragua. Then left to pickup Ospreys off NC to take across the pond. So yes that was a 4 month “cruise”.

          • Buzz

            Yep. Not laid up. Just a pier queen.
            As the ship is in awful condition…trust me, I have been working for weeks rebuilding the anchor Windlass after they lost stbd anchor off the coast of Chile last fall

        • Rocco

          That’s not true!!!

    • Rocco

      Seriously I boarded her 2 times in that time period !, I got the Cook’s tour compliments of the V-4 Fuels chief!!! During a fleet week visit!!! Also your hoopla over the F-35B is BS!!!!!

      • kye154

        You take your beef up with Michael Gilmore, director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office. I simply passed on what he said, and he is more of the authority than what you are on the subject of the F-35B.

        • Rocco

          Yeah OK !! So where is your source???

        • Rocco

          Just what I thought!!!!!

  • Ctrot

    It always preturbs me to see US Naval vessels referred to as “it” instead of her/she, especially by a media outlet purporting to be specializing in naval news.

  • Rocco

    The BonHomme Richard is LHD-5 not 6

    • E7M

      Bataan is LHD-5 is on the East Coast. BonHomme Richard is LHD-6 and goes back to the West Coast where it was originally Homeported.