VIRGINIA BEACH (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship, USS Ashland (LSD 48) will depart its homeport at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLCFS) June 27 on a deployment to conduct a hull swap with the USS Tortuga (LSD 46) forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan.

'The Hull Swap program is a critical part of keeping our forward deployed ships operationally ready and we're proud to be a part of it,' said Cmdr. Brett Hershman, Ashland's commanding officer.

A hull swap, or ship rotation, is part of the Navy's long-range plan to routinely replace older ships in a forward deployed position with newer or more capable ships. In short, the ships switch places, but crews and families remain in their homeport.

In preparation for the move, Ashland completed its mid-life overhaul and upgrade of systems during its Extended Period of Maintenance phase last year. Earlier this year she successfully passed the material inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).

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