SASEBO, Japan (WVEC) -- The USS Wasp (LHD1) arrived in Sasebo, Japan on Sunday after traveling more than 20,000 miles from Norfolk.
The ship left Norfolk on August 30, 2017.
While the ship made its way to Japan, the amphibious assault ship was diverted to help victims of Hurricane Irma in the Virgin Islands and Dominica. The ship also provided assistance to Puerto Rico after Category 5 Hurricane Maria devastated the area.
The USS Wasp has undergone significant upgrades to be able to land and launch the U.S. Marine Corp's F-35B Join Strike Fighter. It will replace USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in 7th fleet, a news release from the Navy stated.
The release also said, "The force structure change has been long-planned as part of a Department of Defense effort to position the most advanced and capable assets forward in support of partners and allies."