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PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) arrived in U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations Oct 1. The Wasp is transiting around South America while conducting a homeport shift from Japan to Norfolk.

“The entrance into U.S. 4th Fleet is a significant milestone for the crew–many of whom came with Wasp to Japan in 2017–and an excellent opportunity to visit our partners in South America, and to continue strengthening our relationships in this very important part of the world,” said Wasp Commanding Officer Capt. Greg Baker.  “I am very proud that these Sailors will be ambassadors of the United States Navy during our time in this fleet.”

Wasp will participate in maritime engagements enhancing interoperability with our partners.  Wasp is scheduled to visit Valparaiso, Chile and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil building on our strong relationships that foster regional security.  

The newly formed Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force–WASP departed with the ship including Marines and Sailors from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and El Salvador to provide amphibious and cultural subject matter expertise to South America. 

Embarking aboard the Wasp in Valparaiso will be a Combined Task Force (CTF) comprised of approximately twenty personnel from the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. 

The CTF will focus on a mission analysis and planning for a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise scenario. Training alongside our partner nations demonstrates the commitment to stability in the region. 

“Partnerships in the region are an absolute priority,” said Wasp Executive Officer Cmdr. Javier Medina. “By focusing on our partnerships in this region, naturally we will have better relationships that have the opportunity to bloom and become stronger, enhancing our mission set of ensuring security in the region, and being able to better act in any case of contingency.”

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