USS ESSEX
LHD 2
  
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The Essex (LHD 2) is the second ship in the all new Wasp-class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and is designed to carry a full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, Harrier II (AV-8B) Jump Jets, Air Cushion Landing Craft (LCAC), and many other landing craft and amphibious vehicles. She is the 5th ship to bear the name dating back to the frigate which was launched in Salem, Mass. on September 30, 1799.

July 10, 1992 The Essex was delivered to the U.S. Navy. On Aug. 24, the ship departed Pascagoula for four days to avoid the Hurricane Andrew.

September 8, The Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) Essex departed Pascagoula, Miss., for its homeport of Naval Station San Diego. Conducted first flight operations on Sept. 9.

September 14, LHD 2 anchored in Cristobal Harbor, Panama, before commencing Panama Canal transit. On Sept. 15, the ship moored at pier 7, Balboa naval base, for a brief port call. Arrived in San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 26.

October 17, 1992 USS Essex was commissioned during a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego. Capt. Ronald V. Berg in command.

October 19, The amphibious assult ship departed for Dependent's Day Cruise en route to Pier 2 Naval Station San Diego.

January 12, 1993 USS Essex conducted its first AV-8B flight operations off the coast of southern California.

March 8, The Essex departed homeport for a two-week underway period for Combat Systems Ship qualification Testing (QSSQT) and general ship training.

March 30, USS Essex departed San Diego to conduct the underway portion of final contract trials. More crew training, well deck and flight deck qualifications in SOCAL Op. Area from April 19-28 and May 3-7; 10-13; 25-27.

June 9, LHD 2 departed NS San Diego for Operational Propulsion Plant Examination (OPPE).

July 30, USS Essex completed a month-and-a-half maintenance availabilty. Sea trials from Aug. 2-5.

August 13, The Essex moored at San Francisco's Pier 35 for a three-day port visit.

August 23, USS Essex arrived at Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a Post Shakedown Availabilty (PSA). The ship returned to homeport on Dec. 3. Ammo onload from Dec. 1-2 while anchored off Camp Pendleton. Underway period from Dec. 6-10.

January 24, The amphibious assault ship departed homeport for local operations off the coast of southern California.

February 2, 1994 Capt. John A. Cassidy relieved Capt. Ronald V. Berg as CO of the Essex.

February 3, USS Essex pulled into Naval Station Pearl Harbor for a week-long port call before participating in Tailored Ship's Training Availabilty (TSTA) I. On 12th, the ship anchored off Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Another visit to Pearl Harbor from Feb. 18-22. From Febr. 27 through Mar. 3, magnetic deperming at Pearl Harbor. Returned home on March 14.

From April 11-29, USS Essex underway three times for TSTA II. On May 16, departed for COMPTUEX and TSTA IV. On May 25th, the ship departed for RIMPAC '94.

June 16, LHD 2 pulled into Pearl Harbor for a week-long port call. Returned to San Diego on June 30.

August 1, USS Essex departed home for a Dependent's Day Cruise. Underway from Aug. 8-12 for COMTUEX and FLEETEX from Aug. 23-30 and Sept. 12-22.

October 25, USS Essex departed Naval Station San Diego for its maiden deployment, with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

November 11, The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) arrived in the vicinity of Okinawa for local operations.

November 16, The amphibious assault ship anchored in Victoria Harbour for a five-day visit to Hong Kong.

November 26, USS Essex pulled into Singapore for a week-long port visit.

December 15, The Essex anchored off Ash Shuwaikh, Kuwait City in support of Exercise Eager Mace, from Dec. 16-23.

December 26, LHD 2 pulled into Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for a two-week tender availability.

January 10, 1995 USS Esssex anchored off the coast of Saudi Arabia to participate in exercise Nautical Mantis. On 20th, the ship anchored off Al Hambra for exercise Iron Magic. Port visit to Dubai from Jan. 24-26.

January 28, Capt. Raymond N. McKay was lost at sea when his AV-8B crashed in the Indian Ocean, 140 miles off the coast of Somalia.

February 3, The amphibious assult ship anchored off the coast of Mombasa, Kenya. On 5th arrived in Ungama Bay.

On February 8, the Essex arrived off the coast of Mogadishu, Somalia, and started with missions in support of Operation United Shield.

February 19, Sgt. Justin A. Harris was lost at sea when an UH-1N Huey crashed into the Indian Ocean about 100 yards from the Essex, 25 miles southeast of the Somali capital. Four others on board the helicopter were rescued by boat.

March 17, USS Essex pulled into Fremantle, Australia, for a six-day visit to Perth.

April 15, The Essex pulled into Pearl Harbor for a brief port call to embark family members and friends for a Tiger Cruise.

April 25, USS Essex returned to San Diego, Calif., after a six-month deployment.

May 31, The amphibious assault ship anchored of Camp Pendleton for pre-SRA and ammo offload. Returned on June 7.

October 17, USS Essex departed for sea trials after completing the four-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) at Naval Station San Diego.

October 20, Capt. Thomas F. Radich relieved Capt. John A. Cassidy as CO of the LHD 2.

The Essex conducted Tailored Ship's Training Availabilty (TSTA) I from Nov. 13-17 and Nov 27- Dec. 1. Underway for ammo on-load from Dec. 4-8.

January 16, 1996 USS Essex departed for a two-week TSTA II. Operational Propulsion Plant Examination (OPPE) and TSTA III in March. Final Evaluation Period (FEP) and Total Ship Survivability Exercise (TSSE) in April.

May 11, The Essex departed San Diego to participate in the largest amphibious exercise in the Pacific, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) '96, off the coast of Hawaii.

May 20, USS Essex pulled into Pearl Harbor for a three-day port call. The ship departed Hawaii June 21 after a five-day port visit to Pearl Harbor. Returned home on 28th.

July 15, The amphibious assault ship departed for one-week underway period off the coast of southern California for SACCEX. On Aug. 7, underway for SOCEX and JTFEX.

September 13, the Essex departed for a Friends and Family Day Cruise. LHD 2 returned home on Sept. 27 after a visit to Mazatlan, Mexico.

October 10, USS Essex departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment in the western Pacific and Arabian Gulf.

October 16, An CH-46, assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 166 (Reinforced), was caught on fire and sat down a mile off the coast of Oahu. It sank near Kaneohe Bay. All four personel safely recovered.

November 5, The Essex moored berth seven at Sembawang for a five-day visit to Singapore.

November 11, USS Essex pulled into Port Kelang, Malaysia, for a two-day visit to Kuala Lumpur. On Nov. 14, the ship anchored in Penang Harbor for a four-day visit to Phuket, Thailand.

December 10, LHD 2 pulled into Muscat, Oman, for a two-day port call after partcipating in exercise Sea Soldier Dec. 1-8. On Dec. 14, the Essex arrived off the coast of Qatar for exercise Eastern Maverick.

December 20, USS Essex anchored at Kuwait Bay Anchorage "C" to participate in exercise Eager Mace.

In March 1997, LHD 2, LPD 7 and LSD 49 participated in the Seventh Fleet exercise Tandem Thrust 97, a combined and joint exercise between the U.S. and Australian armed forces at the Shoal Water Bay training area in Queensland, Australia.

April 10, USS Essex ARG returned to Naval Station San Diego after a six-month deployment.

July 26, 2000 USS Essex took part in the Navy's largest crew exchange and hull swap ceremony at Sasebo, Japan, with the USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3). The swap was part of a planned rotation of forward deployed naval forces in Japan, and was the third crew-swap exchange. The ships’ crews simply switched ships, minimizing the impact of moving families from homeport to homeport. The Belleau Wood and the San Diego-based crew will return to San Diego in mid-August to begin overhaul and maintenance cycles.

In mid-August, the amphibious assault ship was underway for eight days to Okinawa to conduct deck landing qualifications with the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 367. In September, USS Essex returned to Okinawa to onload 31st MEU for Blue/Green Workups, Amphibious Ready Group Exercise (ARGEX) and Special Operations Capable qualification Exercise (SOCEX). Returned to homeport in October for one week of liberty.

October 18, Capt. Scott A. Berg relieved Capt. Thomas A. Parker as commanding officer of the LHD 2, during a ceremony aboard the ship at Sasebo.

On October 20, the Essex underway again to continue its fall patrol and participate in exercise Foal Eagle 2000, off the coast of Korea. On 23rd arrived in Pohang, ROK, for a brief port call.

November 3, USS Essex anchored off the coast of Hong Kong for a four-day port visit. The ship returned home just before Thanksgiving.

In the first week of December, the Essex underway for a three-day trip to Busan, Republic of Korea.

January 15, 2001 USS Essex departed Sasebo to participate in Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX) in Okinawa.

January 24, The amphibious assault ship pulled into Apra Harbor, Guam, for a two-day port call.

On Jan. 31, the Essex arrived in Okinawa to offload Marines. On Feb. 3. arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, for a four-day port call. Returned to homeport on Feb. 9. Underway in East China Sea from Feb. 13-16 for CART II.

March 5, USS Essex departed Sasebo, Japan, for a Spring Patrol in the 7th Fleet Area of Operations. Arrived in Okinawa on 7th to onload Marines and equipment before Blue/Green Workups and SOCEX, from Feb. 9-21.

April 2, Returned to Sasebo to conduct repairs to engineering plant and combat systems. Underway again on April 23.

May 9, The Essex pulled into Townsville, Australia, for a four-day port visit before participating in exercise Tandem Thrust. Inport Brisbane from May 28- June 2.

June 17, USS Essex returned to Naval Base Sasebo after a two-month underway period.

September 12, The amphibious assault ship departed for two-day sea trials after a nearly three-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).

October 2, LHD 2 departed Sasebo for its Fall underway period, to conduct Blue-Green Workups/SOCEX off the coast of Okinawa.

October 23, USS Essex arrived in Dawin, Australia, for a four-day port visit.

October 29, USS Essex ARG arrived off the coast of Dili, East Timor, to assist the U.S. Support Group East Timor with humanitarian and civic assistance projects. Visited Darwin again from Nov. 3-6. The Essex returned to homeport on Nov. 21.

January 19, 2002 The Essex pulled into Yokosuka Naval Base for a two-week Training Availability.

February 2, The amphibious assault ship departed for TSTA I. Returned to Sasebo on Feb. 10. Underway on March 1, enroute Okinawa for Blue-Green Workups. The training period serves to integrate and familiarize the Navy and Marine Corps with each other's procedures and capabilities, enabling all the ships and units to operate as one cohesive team.

March 5, Rear Adm. Rick Ruehe relieved Rear Adm. P. S. Schultz as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) One, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Essex.

March 12, USS Essex arrived off the coast of Iwo Jima to support the 57th Anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Iwo Jima, set to be held March 14. Over the next four days, LHD 2, USS Juneau (LPD 10), USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), and the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), will use landing craft and aircraft to transport equipment and personnel participating in the ceremony.

March 20, LHD 2 arrived in Pohang, Republic of Korea, for a brief port call before participating in exercise Foal Eagle '02. Returned to Sasebo on April 13.

April 17, Capt. Ronald R. Evans relieved Capt. Scott A. Berg as CO of the Essex.

April 30, USS Essex departed homeport for its second part of Spring Patrol.

May 10, The Essex pulled into Laem Chabang Port for a four-day visit to Pattaya, Thailand.

On May 15, the ship anchored off the coast of Sattahip for a five-day port call before participating in annual exercise Cobra Gold, from May 21-28.

June 2, USS Essex anchored in Victoria Harbour for a five-day visit to Hong Kong. Port visit to Singapore June 13-16. Returned to Sasebo, Japan, on June 26.

September 5, USS Essex anchored off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, to embark 900 members of III Marine Expeditionary Force, who hade been participating in exercise Ulchi Focus Lens, afected by incoming Typhoon "Rusa".

September 7, The amphibious assault ship pulled into White Beach Naval Facility at Okinawa to onload 31st MEU for Blue-Green Workups/SOCEX.

October 2, The Essex returned to homeport to resume its Continiuos Maintenance Period. On Oct. 13, the ship pulled into Yokosuka for a two-week Training Availability.

November 4, USS Essex departed Sasebo for a Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) III and Final Evaluation Period (FEP).

January 16, 2003 USS Essex departed Sasebo to participate in Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX) in Okinawa. returned home on Feb. 4.

February 26, The amphibious assault ship arrived in Okinawa to onload Marines and equipment for Blue-Green Workups/SOCEX.

March 10, USS Essex ARG are currently off the coast of Iwo Jima to participate in 58th commemoration of the historic WW II battle.

March 18, The Essex pulled into Pohang, Republic of Korea, for a two-day port call before participating in exercise Foal Eagle 2003.

April 9, USS Essex returned to homeport after completing the first half of the Spring Patrol.

April 17, The Essex deployed as the flagship of the Navy's first Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) to participate in a biennial joint exercise Tandem Thrust 2003 off the Mariana Islands with forces from the United States, Canada and Australia.

May 5, LHD 2 pulled into Apra Harbor, Guam, for a four-day port call. Arrived in Okinawa on May 13 to offload 31st MEU.

On May 18, the Essex anchored off Sasebo for ammo offload and moored at India Basin Pier on May 20, for an extensive Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).

August 14, USS Essex departed for sea trilas after completing a maintenance period that included installing a new non-skid surface on the ship's 820-foot flight deck, hangar deck and aircraft elevators. Flight deck lighting, electrical power and aircraft landing systems were also replaced. In mid-August 2003 she also completed an aviation readiness qualification. The ARQ required the crew to conduct several drills, including firefighting on the flight deck and hangar bay, in addition to firefighting drills in the fuel pump rooms located below decks.

August 22, Capt. Jan M. van Tol relieved Capt. Ronald R. Evans as commanding officer of USS Essex.

August 26, The amphbious assult ship departed Sasebo for resertification of the TACAN at an evaluation range near Yokosuka Naval Base.

September 4, LHD 2 ARG pulled into White Beach Naval Facility at Okinawa to onload 31st MEU.

September 14, USS Essex pulled into Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, to offload Marines, supplies and equipment in support of Blue-Green Workups and ARGEX. On Sept. 22, the Essex departed Philippines for Okinawa's SOCES which re-certified the 31st Marrine Expeditionaru Unit (SOC). Returned to homeport on Oct. 5 for upkeep.

October 10, USS Essex departed Sasebo Naval Base for the second part of Fall Patrol.

From Oct. 17-22, the Essex provided support for the United States' President's visit to Bali. Port visit to Darwin, Australia, from Oct. 25-28. Until the end of the month, LHD 2 conducted CMO operation in and around East Timor.

November 12, USS Essex anchored in Victoria Harbour for a three-day visit to Hong Kong. The ship returned to Sasebo, Japan, on Nov. 24.

January 20, 2004 The Essex departed homeport to participate in Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX). Returned to Sasebo on Feb. 9.

March 3, USS Essex departed Sasebo Naval Base for a routine western Pacific patrol.

March 15, The amphibious assault ship anchored off the coast of Pohang to offload Marines for the joint U.S. - ROK naval exercise Foal Eagle '04. Returned home on April 5th for a routine upkeep.

April 23, USS Essex departed Sasebo, Japan, to continue its Spring Patrol.

May 3, The Essex pulled into Sattahip naval base for a two-day port call to offload Marines and equipment in preparation for exercise Cobra Gold 2004. Another liberty in Sattahip, Thailand, from May 25-27.

June 1, LHD 2 pulled into Changi Naval Base for a four-day visit to Singapore.

June 15, USS Essex returned to Naval Base Sasebo, Japan, after two-and-a-half month Spring Patrol.

August 17, The Essex was catched by tropical storm "Megi" while moored at White Beach Naval Facility. Departed Okinawa on 22nd and proceeded to 5th Fleet AoO.

September 9, USS Essex transited Strait of Hormuz and joined the USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3) in the Arabian Gulf.

October 3, USS Essex pulled into Jebel Ali, U.A.E., for a six-day visit to Dubai.

November 23, The amphibious assault ship arrived again in Jebel Ali for a three-week upkeep. In the past six weeks USS Essex was operating in the North Arabian Gulf, protecting Iraqi oil infrastrature.

January 10, 2005 LHD 2 is currently in port of Manama, Bahrain, onloading various equipment and supplies in preparation to support the Operation Unified Assistance, the humanitarian operation effort in the wake of the Tsunami that struck South East Asia on Dec. 26.

January 18, USS Essex relieved USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) off the coast of Sumatra.

February 11, USS Essex pulled into Singapore for a three-day port call to offload some elements of 31st MEU. On Feb. 26, the ship returned to Bahrain to disembark MH-53E "Super Stalions" from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15. Essex' assets moved 5,971,000 million pounds of relief supplies to devastated areas of Indonesia, from Jan. 18 through Feb. 8.

February 27, Capt. Martin J. Keaney relieved Capt. Jan M. van Tol as CO of the Essex during a ceremony while the ship was anchored off the coast of Manama, Bahrain. A memorial service was also held in the hangar bay in remembrance of fallen Sailors and Marines. Forty-eight Marines and two hospital corpsmen from 31st MEU lost their lives during the six-month deployment to Iraq.

February 28, The amphibious assault ship anchored off Kuwait Naval Base to onload Marines and equipment.

March 19, LHD 2 anchored off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, for four-day visit.

April 6, USS Essex returned to Naval Station Sasebo after a nearly eight-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Unified Assistance.

June 7, USS Essex departed homeport to complete INSURV required underway equipment demonstration. The ship suffered a ruptered AFFF pipe which resulted in thousands of water and AFFF flooding amidships on the 02 level. One Sailor died as a result of trying to fix the pipe. Returned to Sasebo to complete the repairs.

June 8, The Essex pulled into Yokosuka Naval Base for a Training Availabilty (TRAV). Underway on June 27.

July 6, The amphibious assault ship underway for Amphibious Specialty Training, which certifies the well deck for operations.

August 26, USS Essex took another step to replace the "non-skid" aboard the ship, using a hydro-blast method, a method that is saving valuable man-hours and money during the ship's current Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) period. More than 130,000 square feet of ship's non-skid is expected to be replaced. That includes 844 feet of the flight deck, the massive hangar bay, vehicle stowage areas, other wind tunnels and passageways that require the Navy's standard skid-resistant deck coating.

October 3, LHD 2 departed for sea trials after completing an eight-week SRA.

October 8, USS Essex arrived in Naval White Beach Facility to onload 31st MEU for Blue-Green workups and Amphibious Ready Group Exercise in East China Sea.

October 22, The Essex ARG pulled into Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, for a two-day port call before participating in Amphibious Landing Exercise 2006. PHIBLEX is an annual bilateral Republic of the Philippines and United States exercise designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue professional relationships between the United States and Philippine Armed Forces.

October 29, Sailors and Marines together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) held a closing ceremony at Marine Base Ternate, after successfully completing PHIBLEX '06.

November 7, The Amphibious Ready Group arrived in Okinawa, Japan, to offload 31st MEU.

November 13, The Essex Amphibious Ready Group arrived in Hong Kong for a four-day port visit.

November 21, USS Essex returned to Sasebo, Japan, after completing a seven-week Fall Patrol.

January 21, 2006 The Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group departed Okinawa, Japan, for Blue-Green Workups and ARG Exercise (ARGEX) after embarking Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

January 24, USS Essex arrived in Guam to complete the transport of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit for Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX), to be held in various locations on the island.

February 5, The amphibious assault ship is currently in the Philippine Sea, preparing for Exercise Balikatan 2006, scheduled Feb. 20 to March 5. The exercise is an annual Republic of the Philippines and U.S. bilateral combined exercise.

February 9, LHD 2 Amphibious Ready Group once again pulled to Apra Harbor, Guam, to load elements of the 31st MEU.

February 17, USS Essex and USS Harpers Ferry departed Subic Bay, Philippines, shortly after arriving. Both ships were ordered back to sea, and are en route to the Philippine Island of Leyte, to provide much needed humanitarian assistance for the victims of a devastating landslide.

February 21, LHD 2 and LSD 49 are currently in the Cabalian Bay, Republic of the Philippines, providing humanitarian assistance to victims in the Saint Bernard Municipality, where the town of Guinsahugon located in the southern part of the island was completely devastated.

March 1, Sailors and Marines of the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group and 31st MEU, Joint Task Force (JTF) Balikatan and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) completed Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) operations February 28, for the victims of a wide-sweeping mudslide that occurred there Feb 17.

March 8, LHD 2 and LSD 49 are currently off the coast of Iwo Jima to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the famous Pacific War battle in Feb. 1945.

March 14, The amphibious assault ship returned to Sasebo, Japan, completing bilateral training in the Republic of Philippines and Guam, while also delivering relief to mudslide victims in the Philippines' southern Leyte Island.

March 22, USS Essex, commanded by Capt. Martin J. Keaney, is currently at the White Beach, Okinawa, unloading elements of the 31st MEU as part of the Spring Patrol.

March 24, Ships and units of Commander, Task Force (CTF) 76 and embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in the Republic of Korea to conduct Reception, Staging, Onward-Movement and Integration (RSOI) and Foal Eagle (FE) 2006. RSOI/FE is one of two annual command post exercises (CPX) held by U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) and conducted with the ROK armed forces.

April 2, Ships assigned to USS Essex ARG arrived in Pohang, Republic of Korea, to offload the ROK Marines and to backload personnel and equipment assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

April 7, The Essex is currently off the coast of Okinawa offloading personnel and equipment of the 31st MEU in White Beach Naval Facility.

April 11, USS Essex returned to Sasebo, Japan, after completing exercise Reception, Staging, Onward-movement and Integration (RSOI) and Foal Eagle (FE) 2006, from March 25-31.

May 15, LHD 2, along with LPD 10 and LSD 49, started with offloading the equipment and marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit onto the beach in Hat Yao, Thailand, as part of the 25th anniversary of the annual U.S./Thai exercise Cobra Gold 2006, from May 15-26. Cobra Gold is a combined annual joint training exercise aimed at developing interoperability, strengthening relationships between services and developing cross-cultural understanding among participating nations.

May 26, Ships of the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group (FD-ARG) and embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted amphibious operations training with Royal Thai Armed Forces with a series of raids May 19-21. The group, consisting of USS Essex, USS Juneau and USS Harpers Ferry, provided the sea-based platform for a combined simulated mechanized raid and a boat raid on Hat Yao Beach and launched helicopters, of both forces, to conduct a helicopter raid at Chandi Range.

June 4, Forty-three Sailors from LHD 2 took some time out to volunteer and visit the Phirat Witthika 14 School during a port visit May 26 to Pattaya Beach, Thailand. At the community relations project (COMREL), hosted by the Rotary Club of Taksin - Pattaya, Essex Sailors delivered to the school boxes of donated clothing from the ship’s Sailors, Marines and their families.

June 13, USS Essex returned to Sasebo, Japan, after a five-month training cycle known as Spring Patrol.

August 2, Capt. Anthony J. Pachuta relieved Capt. Mark E. Donahue as commander, PHIBRON 11 and also as the task group commander of the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group (FD-ARG) during the change of command ceremony held aboard the USS Essex.

September 8, The amphibious assault ship arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, for a routine port visit. The crew of Essex will undergo a various firefighting and other training to maintain combat readiness.

September 28, The Forward Deployed Expeditionary Strike Group (FD-ESG) successfully completed on load of personnel, equipment, and supplies of the 31st MEU, in White Beach Naval Facility, and will now conduct a series of workups in the vicinity of Okinawa before launching its fall patrol.

October 16, LHD 2 is currently at Subic Bay, Philippines, preparing for exercises with the Republic of the Philippines. The Essex successfully finished Blue-Green workups and departed White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, for its fall patrol Oct. 12. The three-ship ARG teamed up with more than 2,000 Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct the certification and preliminary workups from Sept. 30 - Oct. 8. The certification was held from Oct. 9-11.

October 19, USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group began Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) '07 with an official joint ceremony held at the Ft. Bonifacio Naval Station in Taguig City, Oct. 16. The two annual exercises, which will run concurrently Oct. 16-31, will partner 5,700 U.S. and 1,300 Philippine military personnel for two weeks of training on the island regions of Luzon and Palawan.

November 4, The amphibious assault ship departed Subic Bay, Philippines, after completing a four-day port visit.

December 1, USS Essex returned to Sasebo, Japan, after completing a two-month annual fall patrol. She offloaded nearly 1,500 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines and 664 tons of equipment, on Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 29-30.

February 3, 2007 USS Essex ARG is currently off the coast of Okinawa conducting a two week Blue-Green workups in preparation for their spring patrol.

March 5, Essex Amphibious Ready Group and embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in the Republic of Korea (ROK) to conduct Reception Staging Onward-Movement and Integration and Foal Eagle 2007 (RSOI/FE 07), an exercise which will run through the end of March.

From March 11-15, the amphibious assault ship was underway for a Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP).

April 4, USS Essex pulled to Busan, Republic of Korea, for a scheduled port visit following the conclusion of Foal Eagle 2007.

April 16, LHD 2 returned to Sasebo after a successful Spring Patrol 2007.

May 22, USS Essex ARG ships are currently onloading Marines at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, for participation in Talisman Sabre 2007. Talisman Saber, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defense Force Joint Operations Command, is designed to train the U.S. 7th Fleet commander's staff and the Australian Deployable Joint Force Headquarters staff as designated combined task force headquarters. The exercise will focus on crisis action planning and execution of contingency response operations.

June 6, LHD 2 pulled to Brisbane, Australia, for a four-day port visit in preparation for the upcoming bilateral exercise Talisman Saber 2007.

July 4, USS Essex arrived in Townsville for a liberty port visit after the successful completion of Talisman Saber '07.

July 24, USS Essex ARG returned to Sasebo, Japan, after a two-month sumer deployment.

October 19, The amphibious assault ship completed its Selected Restricted Availability period on Oct. 10. Some of the major work included several hardware and software upgrades to Essex’ combat systems, a complete resurfacing of the flight deck, replacement of the wood planking in the well deck, repairs to the air conditioning units, crew berthing refurbishing and the installation of the Navy Cash Card system throughout the ship. The Essex Expeditionary Strike Group is currently deployed for an annual fall patrol in the western Pacific.

October 31, USS Essex completed the on-load of 1,400 Marines and Sailors from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Nearly 600 Marines embarked Essex in Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 24. The additional 800 Marines, who participated in Exercise Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise from the 31st MEU completed their on-load in Subic Bay, Philippines.

November 6, LHD 2 departed Hong Kong after a three-day port visit.

November 14, USS Essex is currently participating in Korean Interoperability Training Program, to increase U.S./Korean bilateral amphibious operational readiness, off the coast of Pohang, ROK.

December 2, The amphibious ship departed Sihanoukville, Cambodia, after a historic six-day port call. While in port, the ship's approximately 2,500 Sailors and Marines participated in community relations projects, medical and dental assistance projects and professional military exchanges.

December 11, USS Essex returned to Sasebo after completing a successful two-month fall patrol.

January 24, 2008 USS Essex departed homeport for a scheduled two-month deployment.

January 31, The amphibious assault ship departed Okinawa after completing the on load of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

February 4, Capt. Kerry Brent Canady relieved Capt. Brian T. Donegan as CO of USS Essex during a change-of-command ceremony in the ship's hangar bay right before the live broadcast of the Super Bowl XLII.

February 19, LHD 2 arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines, to participate in the annual bilateral Exercise Balikatan 2008. During BK-08, the Essex ESG will conduct humanitarian assistance and training activities with service members from the Republic of the Philippines to improve maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

March 6, USS Essex departed Philippines after completing Balikatan '08 and backloading Marines to Subic Bay.

March 14, Commander Task Force (CTF) 76, abord the Essex, successfully completed Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) Certification during exercises off the coast of Okinawa.

April 27, USS Essex ARG is currently onloading vehicles and equipment from elements of the 31st MEU at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, in preparation to participate with Thailand in the annual bi-lateral exercise Cobra Gold, as part of the spring patrol.

May 22, LHD 2 is currently standing by in the Andaman Sea, off the coast of Burma, supporting Joint Task Force Caring Response, a humanitarian assistance operation developed in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.

June 5, After at least 15 unsuccessfull attempts to convince the Burmese government to allow U.S. Navy ships, helicopters, and landing craft to provide additional disaster relief for the people of Burma, the Essex ships will now head to the coast of Thailand to backload their remaining helicopters and personnel on June 11.

June 20, The Essex Amphibious Ready Group pulled to Okinawa to offload the elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, after completing the two-phase Spring Patrol.

August 5, Capt. Donald A. Schmieley relieved Capt. Anthony J. Pachuta as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11, during a change of command ceremony aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in Sasebo, Japan.

August 9, LHD 2 pulled to Yokosuka Naval Base after a three-day Tiger Cruise from Sasebo.

August 27, USS Essex arrived in Tokyo for a scheduled port visit and humanitarian disaster relief exercises between the partner nations of the United States and Japan.

September 19, USS Essex departed Naval Base Sasebo for a scheduled fall patrol.

October 27, The amphibious assault ship arrived in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, after completing this year's Talon Vision (TV) and Amphibious Landing Exercises (PHIBLEX).

November 4, The Essex arrived off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, for a five-day Korean Interoperability Training Program (KITP).

November 19, USS Essex ARG completed its participation in Exercise ANNUALEX 20G, with USS George Washington CSG and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, off the coast of Japan.

November 26, LHD 2 departed Hong Kong after a four-day port visit.

December 4, USS Essex returned to homeport after the completion of a successful fall underway period.

January 26, 2009 The Essex departed Sasebo for an annual Spring Patrol.

February 7, The amphibious assault ship arrived off the coast of Thailand to participate in exercise Cobra Gold 2009.

February 19, LHD 2 pulled to Pattaya, Thailand, for a scheduled port visit after completing the CG '09 Exercise.

March 8, USS Essex Expeditionary Strike Group returned home recently after completing the first half of the spring deployment.

April 8, USS Essex ARG completed onloading more than 1,400 Marines, at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, as part of participation in Exercise Balikatan 2009.

April 15, The amphibious assault ship arrived in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, to take part in Balikatan exercise, from April 16-30.

May 7, LHD 2 returned to Sasebo after the second half of Spring Patrol. The ship will conduct a brief maintenance period while preparing for another upcoming multinational exercise.

June 12, USS Essex departed homeport for the summer underway period and to participate in exercise Talisman Sabre '09.

June 28, The Essex arrived in Cairns, Australia, for a rare visit after turned away from a busy Townsville port.

July 28, The amphibious assault ship pulled to Brisbane, Australia, for a three-day port visit.

August 13, Capt. Troy L. Hart relieved Capt. Brent Canady as CO of USS Essex during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship off the coast of Okinawa.

August 18, USS Essex returned to Naval Base Sasebo after a two-month summer deployment.

August 26, The Essex began a Ship’s Restricted Availability (SRA) maintenance period during which it will receive a new non-skid for the entire flight deck, 126 new screen wall tubes and a brand new SPS-73 radar system. The engineers will also perform a five year inspection on the number two boiler and extensive maintenance on five ballast tanks.

November 1, USS Essex departed homeport for a scheduled fall patrol.

November 12, LHD 2 completed on-loading more than 1,100 Marines, assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), in preparation for Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 21G with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

November 21, The Essex returned to Sasebo after a three-week underway period.

January 20, 2010 USS Essex departed Sasebo, Japan, for the annual Spring Patrol.

February 11, The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) completed exercise Cobra Gold 2010, operating in the Gulf of Thailand and surrounding waters.

February 15, The amphibious assault ship pulled to Laem Chabang, Thailand, for a four-day port call.

February 22, USS Essex ARG arrived in Changi Naval Base for a scheduled port visit to Singapore.

February 23, Capt. Mark E. Weber relieved Capt. Donald A. Schmieley as Commander, Amphibious Squadron Eleven (CPR 11), during a change-of-command ceremony on the Essex's flight deck.

March 9, LHD 2 began participating in an annual military training exercise Balikatan 2010 in the Republic of the Philippines and its surrounding waters.

March 19, USS Essex ARG departed Subic Bay, Philippines, after completing the exercise BK 10.

March 29, The Essex returned to homeport after completing the spring deployment.

June 8, The amphibious assault ship is currently conducting sea trials in preparation for its upcoming INSURV inspection.

July 1, USS Essex completed a Material Inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey, after a four-day assessment of the ship’s condition and capabilities. INSURV is conducted aboard all Navy ships every five years and is intended to ensure ships are properly equipped and ready for sustained combat operations at sea.

July 14, LHD 2 recently departed Sasebo for a three-day Gator Cruise. Inport Fleet Activities Yokosuka from July 17 through Aug. 6; Returned home on Aug. 9.

September 1, USS Essex departed homeport for an annual Fall Patrol. During the deployment, the Essex ARG and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will participate in numerous bilateral military exercises, including Valiant Shield 2010, Amphibious Landing Exercise 2010, Korean Inter-operability Training Program 2010 and Keen Sword 2010.

September 22, The Essex Amphibious Ready Group completed its participation in exercise Valiant Shield 2010, ending the 11-day joint U.S. military operation off the coast of Palau and Guam.

September 30, USS Essex ARG is currently participating in an annual, bilateral amphibious training exercise Habu Nag, off the coast of Okinawa, from Sept. 27 through Oct. 5, between the United States and India. Habu Nag 2010 is designed to increase interoperability on amphibious operations including Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR).

October 12, LHD 2 ARG pulled into Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, to participate in an annual, bilateral Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2011, from Oct. 14-22.

October 18, The Amphibious Ready Group ships recently departed Subic Bay to avoid a Super Typhoon Megi, a Category 5 storm, that hit the northern Luzon on Sunday.

October 21, Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU and Amphibious Squadron 11 flew from the USS Essex to storm-ravaged areas of the northern Philippines to assist its government with an initial damage survey and an assessment of local population needs.

October 25, The Essex pulled again into Subic Bay for a brief port call.

October 30, USS Essex moored at Changi Naval Base for a scheduled port visit to Singapore.

November 16, LHD 2 pulled into Hong Kong for a four-day port visit. Brief stop at Okinawa on Nov. 23.

November 25, USS Essex returned to homeport to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day before participating in joint-bilateral exercise Keen Sword 2011, in the South China Sea, from Dec. 3-10, along with USS George Washington (CVN 73) CSG and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces; Underway again on Dec. 1; Inport White Beach, Okinawa, from Dec. 3-5 and 11-12th.

December 14, The Essex moored at the newly-constructed Juliet Basin Wharf in Sasebo after completing a three-and-a-half month deployment.

January 19, 2011 Capt. Bradley Lee relieved Capt. Mark E. Weber as Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11 (CPR 11), during a change-of-command ceremony on board the Essex.

January 20, Capt. David Fluker relieved Capt. Troy L. Hart as CO of the Essex during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship.

January 25, USS Essex departed homeport for an annual Spring Patrol.

January 29, The Essex ARG departed White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, after on-loading elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

February 6, USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group arrived off the coast of Thailand to participate in training exercise Cobra Gold 2011, from Feb. 7-19.

February 21, USS Essex ARG pulled into Laem Chabang Port for a four-day visit to Thailand.

February 26, The Essex ARG arrived off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, to participate in Maritime Exercise (MAREX) 11, from Feb. 27- March 2.

March 11, LHD 2 moored at Sepanggar Naval Base for a scheduled port visit to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

March 12, USS Essex departed Malaysia to rendezvous with USS Germantown (LSD 42) and USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) off the coast of Japan, to prepare for any humanitarian assistance/disaster relief duties, after a catastrophic magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck 80 miles off the east coast of Oshika Peninsula, Tohoku, Japan, at 14.46 local time on Friday.

March 18, The three ships arrived off the coast of Akita prefecture this morning and is awaiting further tasking. The west coast of Honshu affords greater access to undamaged ports and roads, fewer navigational hazards, and prevailing winds that are upwind of the Fukushima power plant.

March 23, The Essex ARG is currently off the coast of Hachinohe conducting humanitarian relief operations.

March 27, USS Essex is currently off the coast of Kessennuma, in northeastern Japan, supporting Operation Tomodachi.

April 1, 187 Sailors and Marines began Operation "Field Day", a clearing and clean up mission on the remote island of Oshima. The island, which is dependent upon ferry service from the mainland, has been isolated since March 11 when the tsunami washed its ferries ashore.

April 7, USS Essex concluded its participation in Operation Tomodachi. The Amphibious Ready Group launched 218 aircraft and landing craft in support of reconnaissance and relief distribution missions, and delivered more than 166,000 pounds of supplies ashore in nearly three weeks.

From April 12-13, LHD 2 offloaded more than 1,200 Marines, 75 vehicles and 300 pieces of cargo at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa.

April 14, USS Essex returned to Fleet Activities Sasebo after nearly a three-month deployment in the western Pacific.

June 23, USS Essex departed Sasebo for a western Pacific patrol and to participate in the bilateral exercise Talisman Sabre 2011 (TS11).

June 29, The Essex departed Okinawa after a two-day port call to onload elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Inport White Beach, Okinawa, again from July 4-5.

July 8, USS Essex was expected to arrive in Townsville, Australia, July 7 but instead returned to its homeport on Thursday for a "maintenance issue." The amphibious assault ship will simulate the exercise Talisman Sabre from Sasebo, Japan; Underway for sea trials from Sept. 10-12 and 14-16th.

September 21, USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group departed Fleet Activities Sasebo for a Fall Patrol. Anchored in Sasebo Harbor through Sept. 24; Moored at White Beach for onload from Sept. 25-27; Anchored off Okinawa on Oct. 1.

October 16, The 31st MEU successfully completed its 10-day certification exercise (CERTEX), which certifies that the unit is mission capable for a wide variety of operations.

October 22, LHD 2 Amphibious Ready Group pulled into Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, to participate in a bilateral Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2012.

November 4, USS Essex pulled into White Beach Naval Facility to offload Marines and equipment.

November 20, The Essex anchored off the coast of Bali, Indonesia, for a port visit after providing support to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Bali for the 19th ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Nov. 17-19.

November 23, Petty Officer 1st Class Regan Young lost consciousness after suffering blunt trauma during a daily check of the ship’s weapons systems. The ship’s Fleet Surgical Team tried unsuccessfully to revive him and he was pronounced dead on board.

November 30, USS Essex arrived in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, for a three-day port visit.

December 8, The Essex returned to Sasebo after completing a two-and-a-half month western Pacific deployment.

February 27, 2012 USS Essex departed Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo for its last Patrol while forward-deployed to Japan.

March 4, LHD 2 departed White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, for Amphibious Integration Training (AIT) and Certification Exercise (CERTEX). Inport Sasebo from March 30- April 1.

April 5, The Essex departed White Beach Naval Facility after a brief port call. The ARG recently participated in exercise Foal Eagle 2012, off the Korean East Coast.

April 8, USS Essex returned to homeport after a six-week patrol in the western Pacific. For the next two week, LHD 2 and LHD 6 will remain pierside at Sasebo while new equipment and data is transferred and the crews get accustomed to new equipment.

April 23, Capt. Charles E. Litchfield took the command of USS Essex during an exchange of command and crew ("hull swap") ceremony with the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Sasebo Naval Base.

May 16, USS Essex collided with USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) due to an apparent steering malfunction, during an approach for a routine underway replenishment, at approximately 9:20 a.m. PST, 120 miles off the coast of southern California. Both ships reported some damage, but there were no injuries or fuel spills.

May 17, The Essex arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego, Calif., after an 18-day transit from Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan.

June 18, Rear Adm. Gerard P. Hueber, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3, relieved of command Capt. Charles E. Litchfield due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command." Capt. Jonathan L. Harnden, Jr., assumed temporary command of the USS Essex.

June 20, LHD 2 departed San Diego to participate in a largest multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, from June 29 through Aug. 3.

June 27, USS Essex pulled into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a two-week in-port phase of RIMPAC. Returned home on Aug. 14.

September 19, The Essex commenced a 17-month Extended Drydocking Phased Maintenance Availability (E-DPMA) while pierside at Naval Base San Diego.

November 16, Capt. Joker L. Jenkins relieved Capt. Jonathan L. Harnden, Jr., as CO of the USS Essex.

March 21, 2013 The Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Cynthia D. Shupe was found shot aboard the Essex and was taken to the trauma center at the University of California in San Diego where she was pronounced dead.

March 24, USS Essex entered the dry-dock at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego; Undocked in mid-October.

April 28, 2014 The Essex departed Naval Base San Diego for a four-day underway to conduct sea trials. Underway for Aviation Certification (AVCERT) from May 14-18; Underway for a Friends and Family Day Cruise on May 23.

May 28, Capt. Peter M. Mantz relieved Capt. Joker L. Jenkins as the 19th CO of Essex during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship.

June 9, LHD 2 is currently underway for routine training and well deck certification off the coast of southern California; Returned home on June 30; Underway again on July 23; Inport Naval Station Everett from July 28-29.

July 29, USS Essex moored at Pier 90 in Port of Seattle, Wash., for a six-day visit to participate in annual Seafair Fleet Week celebration; Returned home on Aug. 10; Underway for local operations from Aug. 17-18.?