The U.S. Marine Corps‘ F-35B fighter aircraft will deploy onboard the U.S. Navy‘s USS Wasp amphibious assault ship to support slated regional patrol missions.
The Wasp vessel, which will replace USS Bonhomme Richard as the 7th fleet’s forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, has been equipped with capacities required to land and launch the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy said Saturday.
Capt. Colby Howard, commanding officer of USS Wasp, said the ship is ready to perform various military missions that range from crisis response to disaster relief alongside its F-35B companion.
Expeditionary Strike Group 7, which consists of USS Wasp and other amphibious vessels, will team up with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to serve as an on-call crisis response force in the Pacific region.
Wasp departed from Norfolk, Virginia in August then headed to the Caribbean to aid areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica that were struck by Hurrican Irma.
The crew also assisted Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria which was dubbed as the worst natural disaster recorded in the American commonwealth island’s history.