U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, now F-35B capable, arrives in Japan

The U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, one of the service’s largest and which has been converted to carry the F-35B, has arrived at its new home port in Japan.

The Wasp replaces the USS Bonhomme Richard as the biggest forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet.

After undergoing modifications, the Wasp will carry a squadron of U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightnings, which have vertical take-off/landing capabilities. The jets also fly at supersonic speeds.

“The arrival of USS Wasp represents an increase in military capability and a commitment to our partners and allies for security and stability in the region,” said Captain Colby Howard, the commander officer of the USS Wasp, according to a press statement. “Paired with the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, we remain ready to execute the full range of military operations from crisis response to disaster relief.”

In addition to the Wasp, the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps are also flying F-35s in Asia. Also, Japan and South Korea are set to add F-35s to their respective air forces. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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