USS WHIDBEY ISLAND
LSD 41
  
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On February 9, 1981, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Shipbuilding Company of Seattle, Washington, a contract to construct LSD 41, first of a new class of Dock Landing Ship to replace the aging Thomaston Class LSDs. At the August 4, 1981, keel laying ceremony, the Honorable John F. Lehman, Secretary of the Navy, affixed his signature to the keel: the first keel of an amphibious ship to be laid in more than five years. During the ceremony, Secretary Lehman announced that the ship would be named Whidbey Island and the ship's sponsor was to be Mrs. Sally Gorton, wife of Senator Slade Gorton from the state of Washington. Although this ship is the first to carry that name, there was at one time a ship on the Navy's rolls called USS Whidbey (AG 141). USS Whidbey Island is the first ship in a class designed specifically to interface with the Navy's newest amphibious assault landing craft, the Landing Craft Air Cushion, or LCAC.

September 20, 2001 USS Whidbey Island departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment, with the USS Bataan (LHD 5) Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th MEU, in support of the Operation Enduring Freedom in Arabian Gulf. ARG returned home in Feb. 2002.

June 8, 2003 The dock landing ship returned to Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek from a five-day underway period, bringing back with it 72 Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Midshipmen who cruised with the crew to learn firsthand what happens aboard a ship.

December 23, USS Wasp ESG 2, returned home for the holidays after a successful ESG exercise off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The other ships in ESG-2 are USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), USS Yorktown (CG 48), USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Whidbey Island, and USS McFaul (DDG 74). The entire Expeditionary Strike Group participated in the exercise, which ran from Dec. 1-17 from the Virginia Capes to the Fort Walton Beach, Fla., operating areas.

February 17, 2004 USS Whidbey Island departed homeport for a scheduled deployment, with the Wasp ESG and the 22nd MEU, in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

March 10, U.S. Sailors and Marines assigned to ESG 2 are currently participating in exercise PHIBLEX 04-5 off the coast of Albania March 8-12. LSD 41 recently visited Dubrovnik, Croatia.

September 18, USS Whidbey Island returned to Little Creek after a seven-month underway period in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

September 1, 2005 LSD 41 and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) are making preparations to get underway today for areas off the U.S. Gulf Coast in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relief operations associated with Hurricane Katrina. The dock landing ship will bring with it the capability to employ a movable causeway to the region.

September 22, The dock landing ship returned to homeport after deployed off the coast of Biloxi, Miss., with 35 members of Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 2 and more than 200 Marines of Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 24 Joint Task Force (MEUSSG-24 JTF).

June 6, USS Whidbey Island departed Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, with the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Expeditionary Strike Group and the 24th MEU, for six months to conduct maritime security operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

July 21, The Whidbey Island joined USS Nashville (LPD 13) off the coast of Lebanon to assist in the authorized departure of American citizens from that country. 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.

September 15, The dock landing ship is currently operating in the Arabian Gulf in support of maritime security operations and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

November 21, LSD 41 departed Tunis, Tunisia, after a four-day port visit. Whidbey Island's visit marked the first port call of a major U.S. Navy ship in Tunisia since 2001.

December 6, USS Whidbey Island returned to homeport after a scheduled six-month deployment.

December 2, 2007 USS Whidbey Island provided assistance to the crew of a pirated cargo ship, ending six weeks the 18 crew members spent as hostages. Comoran-flagged merchant vessel Al Marjan was seized by Somalia-based pirates Oct. 17 and held in Somali territorial waters. Whidbey Island was on hand to provide aid to other recently released pirated vessels. She also provided food, water and fuel to motor vessels Mavuno I and Manuvo II, both released from pirates Nov. 4. The dock landing ship is currently deployed to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO).

December 12, LSD 41 provided assistance to Merchant vessel Golden Nori after pirates released the Japanese chemical tanker. The pirates seized the ship off the coast of Somalia in late October. The release of Golden Nori marks the first time in more than a year that no ships are held by Somali pirates.

April 30, 2009 The U.S. Navy began installing stern flaps this month on the Whidbey Island, at Metro Machine's Speede dry-dock in Norfolk, during an Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (E-DSRA), to make it more fuel efficient and save up to $450,000 in fuel costs per ship annually. The ship is expected to head back to sea in late November.

June 30, 2010 USS Whidbey Island arrived at the South Boston Industrial Park to celebrate Boston Navy Week and Harborfest.

August 29, The dock landing ship pulled into Inner Harbor to participate in Baltimore's Navy Week 2010.

October 5, The fire that started just after 4 a.m. on the second deck of the Whidbey Island, while in port at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, has been extinguished after two hours, with no injuries.

October 22, Cmdr. Eric L. Conzen relieved Cmdr. Kirk A. Weatherly as CO of the LSD 41 during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship.

March 23, 2011 USS Whidbey Island departed Little Creek for a surge Mediterranean deployment as part of the USS Bataan (LHD 5) ARG.

May 18, The Whidbey Island departed Taranto, Italy, after a five-day port call.

July 3, USS Whidbey Island anchored off the coast of Cannes, France, for a five-day port visit to celebrate the Independence Day.

July 21, The dock landing ship departed Souda Bay, Greece, after a 10-day port call for maintenance availability.

July 23, USS Whidbey Island arrived in Rhodes, Greece, for a four-day port visit. Transited Bosporus Straits on July 28.

July 30, LSD 41 is currently participating in a combined amphibious assault exercise Summer Storm 2011, off the coast of Romania, from July 30- August 3.

August 20, USS Whidbey Island is currently supporting counter-piracy and maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

November 17, The Whidbey Island recently pulled into Manama, Bahrain, for routine maintenance.

December 31, USS Whidbey Island recently moored at Port of Salalah, Oman, for a routine port call.

January 13, 2012 The dock landing ship arrived in Valletta, Malta, for a three-day port visit; Inport Naples, Italy, from Jan. 17-22.

February 4, LSD 41 pulled into Morehead City, N.C., to offload Sailors and Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

February 7, USS Whidbey Island returned to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story after an extended deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet AoR.

March 15, The Whidbey Island arrived pierside at GPA's Ocean Terminal in Savannah, Ga., to participate in St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

May ?, Cmdr. Vernon H. Stanfield relieved Cmdr. Eric L. Conzen as CO of the Whidbey Island during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship.

June 7, USS Whidbey Island arrived in Quebec, Canada, for a five-day port visit.

August 30, 2013 Cmdr. Christopher K. Wells relieved Cmdr. Vernon H. Stanfield as the 18th commanding officer of LSD 41.

May 3, 2014 The Whidbey Island departed homeport for sea trials after a 22-month Extended Selected Restricted Availability (ESRA). Underway for a Midshipmen CORTRAMID Cruise on June 9; Moored at Pier 11, Naval Station Norfolk on June 23; Underway for CORTRAMID Cruise again on July 21.

From September 9-10, USS Whidbey Island conducted amphibious operations, with the 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, off the coast of Onslow Beach, N.C.

September 22, The dock landing ship recently departed Little Creek for routine training.

October 29, USS Whidbey Island recently departed homeport to paticipate in a multinational amphibious assault exercise Bold Alligator 2014.

December 5, Cmdr. David L. Gray relieved Cmdr. Christopher K. Wells as CO of the Whidbey Island during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

December 22, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., Norfolk, Va., was awarded a $16,9 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-10-C-4401) for the USS Whidbey Island's Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV). Work is expected to be completed by April and will include main propulsion diesel engine overhaul, deck plating repairs, stern gate repairs, 60-ton crane repairs, well deck ventilation repairs, and non-skid.

March 29, 2015 USS Whidbey Island recently departed Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story for sea trials following a three-month availability; Underway for routine training in late April; Underway for well deck certification on June 2?.

July 16, The Whidbey Island commenced amphibious training operations, with the 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, off the coast of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

August 5, LSD 41 returned to Little Creek after a nine-day underway for routine training.?

November 1, USS Whidbey Island is currently moored at Quay Wall East, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story; Moored at Berth 1, Pier 11 in Naval Station Norfolk on Dec. ?; Moored at Quay Wall East on Feb. 18, 2016.?

March 14, 2016 The Whidbey Island departed Little Creek for an 11-day underway to participate in Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT), with the 22nd MEU, as part of the USS Wasp (LHD 1) ARG; Underway for burials at sea in late March.

April 4, Cmdr. Ethan M. Rule relieved Cmdr. David L. Gray as CO of the USS Whidbey Island during a change-of-command ceremony in the ship's well deck on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

April 7, The Whidbey Island departed homeport for a 17-day underway to participate in ARG/MEU Exercise (MEUEX); Underway for a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) from May 4-26.

June 25, USS Whidbey Island departed Quay Wall West for a scheduled Middle East deployment.

June 26, The dock landing ship moored at Berth 6, General Cargo Terminal in Port of Morehead City, N.C., for a brief port call to conduct onload; Transited the Strait of Gibraltar on July 8.

July 11, The Whidbey Island moored at NATO Fuel Pier in Augusta Bay, Italy, for a two-day port visit; Brief stop in Augusta Bay on July 18; Transited the Bosporus Strait northbound on July 21.

July 23, USS Whidbey Island moored at Container Terminal, Quarantine Mole in Port of Odessa, Ukraine, for a scheduled port visit to participate in annual NATO exercise Sea Breeze; Underway for at-sea phase on July 26; Inport Odessa again from July 29-30.

August 1, LSD 41 moored at Passenger Terminal in Port of Constanta, Romania, for a brief port call; Transited the Bosporus Strait southbound on Aug. 3; Transited the Suez Canal on Aug. 7.

August 29, USS Whidbey Island moored between two buoys in Port Victoria, Seychelles, for a four-day liberty visit.

September 23, The Whidbey Island moored at Port of Sultan Qaboos in Muscat, Oman, for a five-day liberty visit after participated in a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) exercise; Transited the Strait of Hormuz northbound on Oct. 2.?

October 5, USS Whidbey Island moored at Berth 60, Quay 9 in Port of Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for a week-long upkeep; Transited the Strait of Hormuz southbound on Oct. 13; Transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait northbound on Nov. 1?; Transited the Suez Canal on Dec. 1.

December 7, USS Whidbey Island moored at Passenger Terminal in Lisbon, Portugal, for a three-day liberty port visit.