USS MAKIN ISLAND
LHD 8
  
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August 19, 2006 The last ship in the Wasp-class of amphibious assault ships, Makin Island, was christened during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss. The Makin Island (LHD 8) is the Navy’s first amphibious assault ship equipped with a hybrid electric-drive propulsion system, a 4,160 volt electrical distribution system and an advanced machinery control system (MCS). Capt. Robert G. Kopas is the prospective commanding officer.

The Makin Island is named for the daring raid carried out by Marine Corps Companies Alpha and Bravo, Second Raider Battalion, on Japanese-held Makin Island, in the Gilbert Islands, Aug. 17-18, 1942. The raid was launched from the submarines USS Nautilus (SS 168) and USS Argonaut (SS 166) and succeeded in routing the enemy forces based there, gaining valuable intelligence. Twenty-three Navy Crosses were awarded for actions during the raid, including to the raid’s leader, Marine Corps Lt. Col. Evans Carlson, and executive officer, Marine Corps Maj. James Roosevelt (son of President Franklin Roosevelt). Marine Corps Sgt. Clyde Thomason was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism during the raid and was the first enlisted Marine to be so honored during World War II.

March 7, 2008 The Pre Commissioning Unit (PCU) Makin Island reached milestone Feb. 26 when became the first Navy vessel with a 35,000 horsepower LM2500+ gas turbine engine to successfully complete forward main engine light off (MELO). This successful light-off paves the way for an aft MELO scheduled for March that will allow all necessary tests to the ship's propulsion system prior to builder's trials in June and acceptance trials in August.

December 19, The Makin Island successfully underwent Builder's Trials Dec. 13 in the Gulf of Mexico. The trials mark the first time this amphibious assault ship has gone to sea on its own power. The ship is scheduled to begin acceptance trials in February 2009 and is expected to deliver to the fleet later that year.

March 19, 2009 LHD 8 successfully completed a third series of trials and may be on its way to a spring delivery date to the Navy. The ship was damaged in August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, and last April, Northrop announced the company would take a charge of about $320 million to fix faulty wiring and other workmanship problems.

April 16, Northrop Grumman delivered the Makin Island to the U.S. Navy during a short ceremony held on the ship's flight deck at Pascagoula, Miss.

June 13, More than 10,000 Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast employees and their families came aboard the Makin Island for a Family Day.

July 10, PCU Makin Island departed NGSB in Pascagoula, Miss., for a transit to San Diego, Calif., where it will be commissioned in October. While underway, the amphibious assault ship is scheduled to conduct theater security cooperation (TSC) activities with Brazil, Chile and Peru.

August 3, LHD 8 arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a scheduled port visit.

August 15, The Makin Island departed Punta Arenas, Chile, after a brief port call.

August 20, The amphibious assault ship arrived in Valparaiso for a joint exercise with the Chilean Navy.

August 29, PCU Makin Island pulled into Callao, Peru, for a goodwill port visit.

September 14, LHD 8 arrived at its homeport of Naval Base San Diego for the first time after a two-month circumnavigation of the South America.

October 16, The Makin Island returned to port after a three-day certification period off the coast of southern California.

October 24, USS Makin Island was commissioned during a 10 a.m. ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, Calif.

December 10, The amphibious assault ship returned to San Diego after an 11-day underway period conducting its first Harrier flight operations, first operations with Amphibious Assault Vehicles and Combat Systems Ships Qualification Trials (CSSQT).

January 25, 2010 USS Makin Island is currently off the West Coast conducting acoustic trials.

February 24, LHD 8 returned to homeport after a week-long underway that focused on Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) operational testing and evaluation.

May 26, USS Makin Island is currently undergoing maintenance during a four-month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) period. The amphibious assault ship departed dry dock at NASSCO shipyard on May 3.

June 30, The Makin Island departed San Diego for sea trials.

August 22, Capt. Humberto L. Quintanilla II relieved Capt. Peter J. Brennan as Commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5 during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the LHD 8.

August 23, USS Makin Island was supposed to get out to sea in mid-August for its final contract trials but remained sidelined at its pierside berth Aug. 20 while crews continued to work through an undisclosed problem with the main reduction gear, that was discovered during the normal checks and maintenance on August 5.

August 27, Capt. James W. Landers relieved Capt. Robert G. Kopas as CO of the Makin Island during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at Naval Base San Diego.

September 18, The amphibious assault ship is currently underway off the coast of southern California conducting special trials in preparation for final contract trials.

September 29, USS Makin Island recently departed homeport for pre-inspection checks.

October 6, LHD 8 pulled into San Fancisco Bay to participate in the city's 30th annual Fleet Week celebration, Oct. 7-12. This year’s Parade of Ships will also include USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Curts (FFG 38), USS Champion (MCM 4), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Chief (MCM 14), USCGC Active (WMEC-618), HMCS Whitehorse (MM 705), HMCS Brandon (MM 710) and the historic WWII Liberty Ship Jeremiah O’Brien.

October 28, The Makin Island returned to Naval Base San Diego from a Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) assessment.

January 31, 2011 The amphibious assault ship returned to homeport after three-day sea trials, completing the maintenance availability period.

February 15, USS Makin Island is currently conducting routine training operations off the West Coast.

February 23, Marines and sailors with the 11th MEU and soldiers with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force embarked the LHD 8 to participate in the at sea portion of exercise Iron Fist.

March 1, A MV-22 Osprey, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166, for the first time conducted flight operations on a West Coast amphibious assault ship since being introduced to the fleet.

March 21, The Makin Island took on approximately 1,200 pallets of ordnance, both from shore facilities as well as from USS Peleliu (LHA 5), during its first full ammunition onload, while underway off the coast of southern California, March 14-18.

April 13, The amphibious assault ship is currently underway for routine training in the SOCAL Op. Area.

April 21, Vice Adm. Gerald R. Beaman relieved Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt as Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, during a change-of-command ceremony on board the LHD 8 at Naval Air Station North Island.

May 6, USS Makin Island returned to Naval Base San Diego after conducting routine local operations.

May 9, The ship started with deperm process, to reduce the magnetic signature, at Naval Base Point Loma.

June 30, The Makin Island departed homeport for routine training off the West Coast.

August 1, LHD 8 is currently underway off the coast of southern California conducting routine operations in preparation for the ship's maiden deployment.

August 10, USS Makin Island departed San Diego for a 12-day Amphibious Squadron (Phibron)/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 11th MEU.

September 16, The amphibious assault ship returned to Naval Base San Diego after completing a 16-day Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).

September 29, USS Makin Island ARG departed homeport for a two-week certification exercise (CERTEX).

November 1, LHD 8 is currently underway off the coast of Southern California for routine operations.

November 14, USS Makin Island ARG departed San Diego for a scheduled Middle East deployment. This is the first operational deployment of AH-1Z Viper as a detachment of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367).

November 21, The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group pulled into Pearl Harbor for a two-day port visit to Hawaii.

November 24, AV-8B Harriers, currently assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 268 (Reinforced), trained for the first time with the F-22 Raptors, from the 19th Fighter Squadron (FS), during the joint air-to-air exercise over Oahu, Nov. 20-22.

December 3, USS Makin Island pulled into Apra Harbor, Guam, for a routine port call.

December 12, LHD 8 pulled into Changi Naval Base, Singapore, for a brief port visit. The MEU’s AV-8B Harriers will be participating in Commando Sling, an exercise with the Singapore Air Force and U.S. Air Force at Paya Lebar Air Base.

December 14, Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) began a cooperative Exercise Kilat Eagle with elements of the Malaysian army at Kuantan, focusing on jungle training, air assault operations, a staff exchange and platoon and company movements.

December 21, USS Makin Island arrived again in Singapore for a six-day port call.

January 6, 2012 USS Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) relieved of duty USS Bataan (LHD 5) ARG in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR).

February 12, Capt. Donald R. Cuddington relieved Capt. Humberto L. Quintanilla II as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the LHD 8 in the Arabian Sea.

February 14, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kyler L. Estrada, assigned to India Company, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 3/1, 11th MEU, was shot and killed during a live-fire and maneuvering night training exercise with Marines in Djibouti.

February 29, Capt. Cedric E. Pringle relieved Capt. James W. Landers as CO of the Makin Island during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship.

March 7, USS Makin Island pulled into Khalifa Bin Salman port at Hidd, Bahrain, for a 10-day upkeep.

April 19, LHD 8 recently arrived at Aqaba Naval Base, Jordan, to conduct agricultural counter-measure washdowns of all embarked equipment.

May 18, The Makin Island pulled into Sepanggar Naval Base for a three-day port visit to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

May 25, The amphibious assault ship anchored in Victoria Harbor for a four-day port visit to Hong Kong.

June 13, USS Makin Island arrived in Pearl Harbor for a brief port call to embark friends and family members for a Tiger Cruise.

June 22, USS Makin Island returned to Naval Base San Diego after more than a seven-month maiden deployment.

July 31, The Makin Island departed homeport for local operations in support of the "Leaders at Sea" program. Underway again for local operations on Aug. 8.

August 22, LHD 8 is currently conducting routine training in the SOCAL Op. Area. Underway again from Sept. 4-7.

September 25, General Dynamics NASSCO has been awarded a $18 million modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-4013) for the USS Makin Island Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA). Work is expected to be completed by June 2013.

October 3, USS Makin Island moored at Pier 30/32 in San Francisco, Calif., for a six-day port visit to participate in annual Fleet Week celebration. Ammo offload with USS Boxer (LHD 4), off the coast of southern California, from Oct. 15-17; Underway for "Leaders to Sea" program on Oct. 23.

June 14, 2013 Capt. Alvin Holsey relieved Capt. Cedric E. Pringle as CO of the Makin Island during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at Naval Base San Diego.

December 10, USS Makin Island moored at Fuel Pier in Naval Base Point Loma to refuel after an extended 13-month PMA. Underway for sea trials from Dec. 12-15; Underway for well deck and flight deck certification from Jan. 9-18, 2014; Underway for routine training from Feb. 3-7; Underway for ammo onload off Camp Pendleton from Feb. 10-14; Underway for local operations from Feb. 24-28.

March 11, The Makin Island departed San Diego for a three-day underway to conduct Group Sail operations off the coast of southern California.

April 7, USS Makin Island ARG departed homeport for a two-week Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 11th MEU.