US warship capable of launching F-35B arrives in Japan

United States Navy’s Wasp-class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) has arrived in Sasebo, Japan on January 14.

“Wasp, which has undergone significant upgrades to be able to land and launch the U.S. Marine Corp’s F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, will replace USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in 7th Fleet,” said Amphibious Force 7th Fleet of the US Navy.

“Wasp’s arrival to Sasebo comes after nearly two months of humanitarian relief efforts following two major hurricanes in the Caribbean and more than two months transiting across the Atlantic and into the Pacific,” it added.

Sailors aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1) man the rails as the amphibious assault ship arrives in Sasebo, January 14, 2018. US Navy photo

USS Wasp commanding officer Captain Colby Howard said “paired with the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, we remain ready to execute the full range of military operations from crisis response to disaster relief.”

Amphibious Force 7th Fleet of US Navy said the F-35B is scheduled to embark on Wasp when the amphibious assault ship and MEU deploy in 2018 for a regularly scheduled regional patrol.