USS IWO JIMA
LHD 7
  
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The Iwo Jima (LHD 7) is the seventh Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear that name. The contract to build her was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding on February 28, 1995, and her keel was laid down on December 12, 1997.

March 25, 2000 The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Iwo Jima was christened during a ceremony at Pascagoula, Miss. Mrs. Zandra Krulak, the wife of General Charles C. Krulak (Retired), 31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, served as sponsor of the ship. Capt. John T. Nawrocki is the prospective commanding officer.

June 30, 2001 USS Iwo Jima was commissioned during a ceremony at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.

January 6, 2002 The Iwo Jima entered the Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock Corporation (NORSHIPCO) shipyard in Norfolk, Va., for a three-month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA).

May 22, LHD 7 moored at Pier 88 in New York City for a Fleet Week 2002. More than 6000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard personal aboard 22 ships sailed into New York City for the 15th annual Fleet Week. The Iwo Jima recently completed TSTA I.

On June 14, the amphibious assault ship completed Tailored Ship's Training availabilty (TSTA) II and on June 28, TSTA III and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP).

After a routine maintenance at Norfolk Naval Station, USS Iwo Jima underway in August for a PHIBRON/MEU Integration Training (PMINT).

In October, the Iwo Jima ARG participated in Amphibious Ready Group Exercise (ARGEX) that was immediately followed by Supporting Arms Coordination Exercise/Special Operations Capability Exercise (SACEX/SOCEX) in November.

December 6, Capt. John W. Snedeker, Jr., relieved Capt. John T. Nawrocki as commanding officer of the Iwo Jima.

March 4, 2003 USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, departed from their East Coast home ports along with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

April 30, LHD 7 pulled into Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, for a four-day port call.

During the deployment, all three ships in the ARG deployed Marines in Iraq. The ARG's support of operations in Iraq was cut short in August, when they were ordered from the gulf to Monrovia, Liberia, to support peacekeeping efforts. Once there, the 26th MEU provided a stabilizing presence, which allowed multinational forces from other western African countries to come in and handle the problem so humanitarian operations could be conducted. Elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit began to land in Monrovia on August 14. This was a Quick Reaction Force, comprised of Marines from the 1st Battalion, 8th marines. These are the first of some 200 Marines that are to operate in Liberia.

October 24, USS Iwo Jima returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a seven-and-a-half month deployment is support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in support of humanitarian crisis in Liberia.

January 12, 2004 The amphibious assault ship moored at Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., for ammunition offload.

May 26, LHD 7 arrived in New York City, N.Y., to participate in 17th annual Fleet Week celebration.

Jun 26, 2004 Iwo Jima is currently conducting flight deck developmental testing in the Atlantic Ocean.

December 10, The amphibious ship departed Port Everglades, Fla., after a scheduled port visit.

January 15, 2005 LHD 7 returned to Norfolk after a five-day underway, testing the 2nd Fleet staff's distributed staff concept.

April 23, USS Iwo Jima is currently underway for routine training off the coast of Virginia.

May 19, LHD 7 is currently underway in support of a Capability Exercise with the USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF).

July 2, The Iwo Jima arrived in Portland, Maine, for a three-day port visit to participate in Independence Day celebrations.

July 15, USS Iwo Jima departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., in support of U.S. 2nd Fleet's Joint Task Force Exercise. The week-long exercise, named Operation Brewing Storm, JTFEX 05-2 serves as the deter forward-certifying event for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (CSG), as sustainment training for the USS Harry S. Truman CSG, and as component commander certification for the United Kingdom Maritime Force (UKMARFOR) staff. More than 15,000 service members from four countries are participating in JTFEX 05-2, from July 14-22.

August 18, LHD 7 departed Naval Station Norfolk for Command Assessment Readiness and Training (CART) evaluations.

August 31, USS Iwo Jima and USS Shreveport (LPD 12) departed Norfolk along with USS Tortuga (LSD 46) and the rescue and salvage ship USS Grapple (ARS 53), both based at Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek, Va., to head to areas off the Gulf Coast as part of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The four ships bring with them six Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) that include amphibious construction equipment, medical personnel and associated supplies to assist with the relief effort.

September 3, After a three-day high-speed transit down the East Coast of the United States and around into the Gulf of Mexico, LHD 7, along with various embarked air and amphibious landing assets, arrived on station in the Gulf of Mexico off Biloxi, Miss., to begin humanitarian assistance operations to the devastated region. Iwo Jima pulled to New Orleans on 5th to serve as the command and control center for Joint Task Force Katrina.

September 20, Joint Task Force Katrina ships including: USS Tortuga, USNS Comfort, USS Iwo Jima, USS Shreveport and the USS Grapple will proceed east to avoid incoming Hurricane Rita. The USNS Patuxent will remain in the Gulf of Mexico to support repositioning ships. The Comfort will move from Mississippi today, and the Iwo Jima and Shreveport from Louisiana Sept. 21. The hurricane near the Florida Keys strengthened to Category 2 today and is forecast to strengthen further as it moves westward into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

September 26, Hurricane Rita disaster relief operations began Sept. 25 on board LHD 7 when helicopters from embarked squadrons left for the coastal regions of Louisiana to perform search and rescue (SAR) operations and flood assessment missions. The amphibious ship has been following Hurricane Rita across the Gulf of Mexico to be prepared to respond quickly after the storm made landfall. Rita went ashore early Sept. 24 as a Category 3 hurricane, and she was among the first responders in relief efforts.

October 2, The Iwo Jima returned to homeport after a five-week underway, conducting relief operations in the wake of two hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast.

December 10, USS Iwo Jima is currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean for routine operations. Inport Naval Weapons Station Earle, NJ., for ammo onload from Dec. 12-1?.

January 15, 2006 LHD 7 is currently underway for pre-deployment training certification in preparation for upcoming deployment later this year.

February 19, Five ships, one submarine and nearly 3,500 Sailors and Marines from the USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) successfully completed their ESG Integrated Training (ESGINT) exercises, Feb. 14, while operating in Onslow Bay, N.C.

April 5, The amphibious assault ship is currently underway for routine training in the VACAPES Op. Area.

April 14, USS Iwo Jima is currently underway for Expeditionary Strike Group Exercise (ESGEX).

June 6, USS Iwo Jima, commanded by Capt. Michael A. Walley, departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

June 20, The amphibious assault ship pulled into Marseille, France, for a six-day port visit.

June 27, LHD 7 arrived in Civitavecchia, Italy, for a liberty port visit to Rome.

July 2, Marine pilot ejected from his AV 8B Harrier, at approximately 6:50 pm (local), and was safely recovered within eight minutes after receiving minimal injuries. The pilot was preparing to land aboard the amphibious ship in the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Crete, Greece.

July 4, USS Iwo Jima Expeditonary Strike Group transited the Suez Canal to relieve USS Peleliu (LHA 5) in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations (AoO).

July 18, U.S. Sailors and Marines from the LHD 7 Expeditionary Strike Group and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit have been directed to assist in the authorized departure of American citizens from Lebanon. The U.S. Embassy in Lebanon has requested military assistance to help American citizens who wish to depart Lebanon to leave in a secure and orderly manner.

August 20, USS Iwo Jima and USS Nashville (LPD 13) transited the Suez Canal southbond en route to Arabian Gulf.

September 15, LHD 7 is currently underway in the Arabian Gulf in support of maritime security operations and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

October 2, AV-8B Harriers, as part of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Air Combat Element (ACE) presently attached to USS Iwo Jima, completed combat missions Sept. 21 in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, against Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan. To date, the Harriers have completed approximately 136 sorties to include 17 precision-guided munitions in support of OEF and coalition efforts.

November 8, USS Iwo Jima ESG returned to Mediterranean Sea after transiting Suez Canal; Inport Civitavecchia, Italy, from Nov. 12-16.

November 17, LHD 7 arrived in Toulon, France, for a scheduled port visit.

December 2, The Iwo Jima completed an ammunition transfer with the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and USS Bataan (LHD 5) off the coast of Virginia.

December 6, USS Iwo Jima returned to Norfolk after a six-month deployment.

June 11, 2007 The amphibious assault ship departed for sea trials after spending nearly four months at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair.

September 27, LHD 7 is currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean for sea trials. This is the first time that the Iwo Jima is conducting flight deck operations with the V-22 Osprey in more than two years.

February 3, 2008 USS Iwo Jima is currently underway for routine training off the coast of Virginia.

March 9, 2008 The Iwo Jima ARG is currently undergoing an operational evaluation with elements of the 26th MEU off the coast of North Carolina.

April 15, The amphibious assault ship is currently in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine trainings.

April 28, USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group pulled to Port Everglades, Fla., for a Fleet Week.

May 6, LHD 7 ESG is currently participating in an integration exercise off the East Coast, in preparation for the upcoming deployment later this year.

July 21, USS Iwo Jima ESG and BNS Greenhalgh (F 46) participated in a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) from July 8-18, marking the first time a Brazilian Navy surface unit fully integrated into a U.S. Strike Group. The Iwo Jima and Greenhalgh will now participate in the USS Theodore Roosevelt's (CVN 71) upcoming Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 08-4, from July 21-31.

August 26, USS Iwo Jima departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility (AoR).

September 21, A group of 50 senior civilian officials and 19 staff members from the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) visited Iwo Jima off the coast of Crete, Greece. The amphibious assault ship recently departed Haifa, Israel, after a scheduled port visit.

September 23, USS Iwo Jima ESG entered the Red Sea after transiting Suez Canal southbound.

October 18, LHD 7 recently anchored off Kuwait Naval Base to offload elements of the 26th MEU.

December 18, The Iwo Jima recently pulled into Manama, Bahrain, for a routine port call.

January 28, 2009 The amphibious assault ship recently departed Manama after another port visit.

February 14, USS Iwo Jima arrived in Kuwait Naval Base to back-load Marines and equipment, concluding the four-month operations in the Arabian Gulf; Transited the Suez Canal on March 1.

March 4, LHD 7 pulled to Augusta Bay, Sicily, for a scheduled port visit.

March 10, The amphibious assault ship pulled to Rota, Spain, for a routine port call.

March 27, USS Iwo Jima returned to Norfolk after a seven-month deployment.

May 20, The Iwo Jima arrived in New York City to participate in the 22nd commemoration of Fleet Week New York City 2009.

June 12, LHD 7 returned to homeport following a visit to New York where dozens of crew members came down with the H1N1 virus. There were 49 confirmed cases of "swine flu" onboard his ship, and 16 crew members are still recovering. By date, 220 U.S. Navy Sailors have been confirmed with H1N1 influenza.

July 9, USS Iwo Jima recently arrived in the Gulf of Guinea to support the U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ghana July 10 and 11.

April 26, 2010 The amphibious assault ship pulled into Port Everglades, Fla., to participate in Fleet Week 2010.

May 24, USS Iwo Jima departed Norfolk Naval Station to participate in annual Fleet Week New York, from May 26- June 2.

July 12, USS Iwo Jima departed homeport for a four-month deployment to the U.S. Naval Southern Command Area of Operations, in support of Continuing Promise.

July 17, LHD 7 pulled into Mayport Naval Station for a brief port call to onload humanitarian supplies.

July 19, The Iwo Jima arrived in Miami, Fla., for a two-day port visit.

July 24, The amphibious assault ship arrived off the coast of Port-de-Paix, Haiti, for its first CP 2010 mission. The assigned medical and engineering staff embarked aboard Iwo Jima will work with partner nation teams to provide medical, dental, veterinary and engineering assistance to seven different nations to improve mutual understanding of current medical issues and technology.

July 31, Capt. Thomas J. Chassee relieved Capt. Jeffrey Charles Amick as commanding officer of the Iwo Jima.

August 4, USS Iwo Jima pulled to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay for refueling and supplies.

August 8, LHD 7 arrived off the coast of Marine Infantry Training Base in Covenas, Columbia, as part of the Continuing Promise mission.

August 20, The Iwo Jima arrived in Limon, Costa Rica, for a 10-day port call.

September 4, The amphibious assault ship anchored in the Amatique Bay for a goodwill port visit to Guatemala until Sept. 13.

September 15, USS Iwo Jima anchored off the coast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, for its fifth mission in support of CP 2010.

September 27, LHD 7 anchored in Laguna de Chiriqui for a scheduled port visit to Panama.

October 17, The Iwo Jima anchored off the coast of New Amsterdam, Guyana, for its seventh mission in support of Continuing Promise.

October 28, The amphibious assault ship anchored off the coast of Paramaribo, Suriname, for its last humanitarian mission.

November 1, U.S. Southern Command directed the USS Iwo Jima to steam toward Haiti in preparation for the forecasted arrival of tropical storm Tomas later this week.

November 11, LHD 7 pulled into Naval Station Guantanamo Bay for an environmental wash-down on the ship's equipment.

November 18, USS Iwo Jima returned to Norfolk after a four-month underway period.

March 23, 2011 The amphibious assault ship recently returned to homeport after conducting routine operations off the East Coast.

April 13, USS Iwo Jima is currently underway in preparation for Unit Level Training Assessment Sustainment.

April 25, The Iwo Jima pulled into Port Everglades to participate in the Fleet Week 2011.

May 25, LHD 7 moored at Manhattan's Pier 88 in New York City, N.Y., for a week-long port visit to participate in 24th annual Fleet Week celebration.

August 25, USS Iwo Jima entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for safe haven from Hurricane Irene.

October 5, The Iwo Jima is currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine training in preparation for the upcoming deployment early next year.

October 28, USS Iwo Jima ARG is currently underway for Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 24th MEU, from Oct. 24 through Nov. 3.

November 30, The Amphibious Ready Group recently departed Norfolk for Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).

January 27, 2012 USS Iwo Jima ARG departed homeport for Certification Exercise (CERTEX) that was embedded into a largest joint and multinational amphibious assault exercise, in the past ten years, Bold Aligator 2012 with both the Navy and Marine Corps.

February 28, Capt. Grady T. Banister relieved Capt. Thomas J. Chassee as CO of the LHD 7 during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at Norfolk.

March 27, USS Iwo Jima departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR).

April 9, The Iwo Jima ARG is currently off Cap Draa, Morocco, supporting bilateral training exercise African Lion 2012, between the United States and the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, April 8-16.

April 11, An MV-22 Osprey, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261, crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, while participating in the exercise African Lion. Cpl. Derek A. Kerns and Cpl. Robby A. Reyes were killed. The two other U.S. Marine Corps personnel were severely injured.

April 24, USS Iwo Jima departed Naval Station Rota, Spain, after a week-long port call.

May 5, USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group relieved of duty USS Makin Island (LHD 8) ARG in the U.S. 5th Fleet AoR.

May 8, LHD 7 pulled into Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a scheduled port call before participating in a large annual multi-national exercise Eager Lion 2012.

May 19, Capt. Arturo M. Garcia relieved Capt. Mark H. Scovill as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Iwo Jima in the Red Sea.

June 8, USS Iwo Jima ARG ships embarked approximately 1,000 Marines from the 24th MEU at Aqaba Naval Base, Jordan, from May 28- June 5.

July 11, The Iwo Jima pulled into Khalifa Bin Salman Port in Hidd, Bahrain, for a week-long port call.

October 7, LHD 7 recently visited again Aqaba naval base for agricultural counter-measure washdowns of all embarked equipment, after embarking contigent of Marines in Djibouti that spent around a month in the country conducting various trainings and exercises with the French military.

November 5, USS Iwo Jima ARG returned to Mediterranean Sea after transiting Suez Canal.

November 11, The amphibious assault ship pulled into Rota, Spain, for a three-day port call.

November 18, USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group ships were ordered recently to return to the eastern Mediterranean, as a security precaution as the Gaza Strip conflict between Israel and Hamas continued to escalate, after being previously scheduled to end an eight-month deployment on Nov. 28; Transited the Strait of Gibraltar on Dec. 6.

December 17, LHD 7 moored at Port of Morehead City Port, N.C., to offload Marines and equipment from the 24th MEU.

December 20, USS Iwo Jima returned to Norfolk after a nearly nine-month deployment.

January 23, 2013 USS Iwo Jima entered the Titan Dry Dock at the BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair for a nine-month Drydocking Phased Maintenance Availability (DPMA). Undocked in early September; Underway for sea trials in early November.

January 28, 2014 The Iwo Jima recently moored at Leonardo Pier in Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey, for ammo onload; Returned home on Feb. 6 after a two-week underway.

February 25, The amphibious assault ship departed Naval Station Norfolk for well deck certification. Underway for flight deck certification in the Virginia Capes Op. Area from March 4-12; Underway for routine training from April 6-16; Underway again in early June; Underway for local operations from June 9-12.

June 17, USS Iwo Jima recently departed homeport for flight deck qualifications with the 20th Special Operations Squadron (SOS), in the Virginia Capes Op. Area; Returned to Norfolk on June 2?; Underway for local operations on July 24; Underway again from July 30-31.

August 4, LHD 7 departed Norfolk for a two-week Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 24th MEU.

August 17, USS Iwo Jima arrived in its new homeport of Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

September 3, The Iwo Jima ARG departed Mayport for a 22-day underway to participate in ARG/MEU Exercise (MEUEX). Underway for a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) on Oct. 4.