AQABA, Jordan (July 13, 2018) --
AQABA, Jordan (July 13, 2018) — The
amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and embarked Marines of the 26th
Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Aqaba, Jordan, after completing a
mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR) maintenance availability, July 13.
MDVRs are scheduled availabilities to complete repairs and maintenance, allowing
a ship to continue to be fully mission capable throughout the remainder of its
“The MDVR gave us the opportunity to take seven days to focus on getting
maintenance done and make sure that we remain ready to respond as required,”
said Capt. Joseph R. O’Brien, Iwo Jima’s commanding officer. “It also gives us
the opportunity to prepare the ship to come back home by doing an agricultural
wash-down of all the vehicles and all the equipment that was brought on board.”
Contractors came aboard the ship from
locations such as Forward Deployed Regional Maintenance Center Bahrain and
Southeast Regional Maintenance Center Mayport, Florida, to assist the crew with
Marines and Sailors spent the week
washing down vehicles, equipment and containers in wash racks aboard the Royal
Jordanian Naval Base for agricultural inspections. They washed approximately
300 major end-items and cleaned, inventoried and inspected thousands of
Some of the other tasks conducted by Sailors and Marines during the MDVR
included repairs to vital radars and the ship’s mast, engineering plant upkeep
and ship preservation.
Before pulling in to Aqaba, the crew knew the great amount of work that was in
store for them and prepared to get it done safely and efficiently.
"Preparation for the MDVR was an all-hands effort,” said Boatswain’s Mate
3rd Class Andrew Frasca, a member of Iwo Jima’s Deck Department. “From
undesignated seaman all the way to the commanding officer, we were well prepared
to complete the tasks at hand with zero mishaps.”
Marines assigned to the 26th MEU also took
part in sustainment training during the port visit, with elements of Battalion
Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment (BLT 2/6) and Combat Logistics
Battalion (CLB) 26 conducting live-fire ranges at Camp Titin.
“The BLT completed a live fire portion
of their team leader course, which trains the young Marines who will be team
leaders for the next deployment. This range allowed them to sustain proficiency
in all weapon systems in the rifle squad,” said Maj. Brian Hinrichs, commander
of Echo Company, BLT 2/6. “Also, the Combat Engineer Battalion detachment and
CLB maintained breaching skills with a demolition range. Overall, the training
allowed the MEU to sustain critical skills and increased the morale of the
Additionally, the Maritime Raid Force conducted
combat dive, military freefall, close quarters tactics, and team tactics
training at Camp Titin and King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center.
While the port call was a working port focused on maintenance and training,
Sailors and Marines had the opportunity to participate in tours to Petra and
Wadi Rum, which included an off-road scenic tour and a hike up Burda Mountain.
Iwo Jima is deployed to the U.S. 5th
Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime
stability and security in the Central region, connecting the Mediterranean and
the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group embarks the 26th MEU and is comprised
of Iwo Jima, the transport dock ship USS New York (LPD-21), the dock landing
ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 4 and 8, Helicopter Sea
Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components
of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and the embarked staff of commander, Amphibious