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'Compact' aircraft carrier USS Wasp joins the United States 7th Fleet near Taiwan

'Compact' aircraft carrier USS Wasp joins the United States 7th Fleet near Taiwan

The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp entered U.S. Seventh Fleet area of operations January 6, after completing almost two months of disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean Sea, commander, Task Force 76, said in a Jan 6 release.

A U.S. amphibious assault ship capable of carrying advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets was soon to arrive at Sasebo naval base in Nagasaki Prefecture, the U.S. Navy said over the weekend. It recently completed two months in the Caribbean Sea assisting with relief work.

The U.S. military plans to load F-35Bs deployed at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture on the 257-meter Wasp and use them to deter North Korea and China, The Japan Times reports.

The Wasp departed Norfolk Virginia on August 30 to join the 7 fleet that is headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan.

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The Wasp left Hampton Roads on August 30, 2017 to replace USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) in Sasebo, Japan as the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in region.

Once detached from relief efforts in late October, Wasp resumed its transit to Seventh Fleet, briefly stopping in Rio de Janeiro and then transiting the Strait of Magellan as it crossed from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean.

Political commentators in recent weeks have called for the U.S. to make a show of force in the region by sending an aircraft carrier close to Taiwan to send the message that the USA is not intimated by China's threats towards Taiwan.

The 40,000-ton Wasp is essentially a miniature aircraft carrier.


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