USS Wasp (LHD-1)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

USS Wasp with MV-22 Osprey in the Gulf of Aqaba on 4 October 2007
United States
NamesakeUSS Wasp (CV-18)
Awarded28 February 1984
BuilderIngalls Shipbuilding
Laid down30 May 1985
Launched4 August 1987
Commissioned29 July 1989
MottoHonor, Tradition, Excellence
Statusin active service
General characteristics
TypeWasp-class amphibious assault ship
Displacement40,500 long tons (41,150 t) full load
Length843 ft (257 m)
Beam104 ft (31.8 m)
Draft27 ft (8.1 m)
PropulsionTwo boilers, two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 70,000 shp (52,000 kW);
Speed22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Range9,500 nautical miles (17,600 km; 10,900 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Well deck dimensions: 266-by-50-foot (81 by 15.2 m) by 28-foot (8.5 m) high
Boats & landing
craft carried
Troops1,687 troops (plus 184 surge) Marine Detachment
Complement66 officers, 1,004 enlisted[1]
Sensors and
processing systems
Aircraft carried

USS Wasp (LHD-1) is a United States Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, and the lead ship of her class. She is the tenth USN vessel to bear the name since 1775, with the last two ships named Wasp being aircraft carriers. She was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Wasp and her sister ships are the first specifically designed to accommodate new Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) for fast troop movement over the beach, and Harrier II (AV-8B) Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) jets which provide close air support for the assault force. She can also accommodate the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, the tiltrotor MV-22 Osprey, the F-35B Lightning II multi-role fighter, conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.[2]


To carry out her primary mission, Wasp has an assault support system that synchronizes the simultaneous horizontal and vertical flow of troops, cargo and vehicles throughout the ship. Two aircraft elevators service the hangar bay and flight deck. Six cargo elevators, each 4 by 8 meters (13 by 26 ft), are used to transport material and supplies from the 3,000-cubic-meter (110,000 cu ft) cargo holds throughout the ship to staging areas on the flight deck, hangar bay and vehicle storage area. Cargo is transferred to waiting landing craft docked within the ship's 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2), 81-meter long (266 ft) well deck. Helicopters in the hangar bay or on the flight deck are cargo-loaded by forklift.

Medical facilities[edit]

Wasp cruising alongside the aircraft carrier Coral Sea in September 1989

Wasp has medical and dental facilities capable of providing intensive medical assistance to 600 casualties, whether combat incurred or brought aboard ship during humanitarian missions. The ship's corpsmen also provide routine medical/dental care to the crew and embarked personnel. Major medical facilities include four main and two emergency operating rooms, four dental operating rooms, x-ray rooms, a blood bank, laboratories, and patient wards. In addition, three battle dressing stations are located throughout the ship, as well as a casualty collecting area at the flight deck level. Medical elevators rapidly transfer casualties from the flight deck and hangar bay to the medical facilities.


For the comfort of the 1,075 crewmembers and 2,200 embarked troops, all crewed spaces and berthing areas are individually heated and air conditioned. Berthing areas are subdivided to provide semi-private spaces without adversely affecting efficiency. Onboard recreational facilities include a Library Multi-Media Resource Center with Internet access, a weight room, and satellite television capabilities.[citation needed]


Wasp's two steam propulsion plants generate a total of 400 tons of steam per hour. The propulsion system develops 70,000 shaft horsepower (52 MW), powering the ship to speeds in excess of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph). USS Wasp was built using more than 21,000 tons of steel, 400 tons of aluminum, 400 miles (640 km) of electrical/electronic cables, 80 miles (130 km) of piping and tubing of various types and sizes, and 10 miles (16 km) of ventilation ducting. Wasp weighed more than 27,000 tons when moved onto the Ingalls floating dry-dock on 30 July 1987 for launch on 4 August 1987, becoming the largest man-made object rolled across land. In 1996, the ship was fitted with the Advanced Combat Direction System (ACDS).[citation needed]

Ship history[edit]


On 20 June 1991, Wasp departed homeport for her maiden six-month Mediterranean deployment. In February 1993, she left her port on an emergency deployment to Somalia to participate in the United Nations intervention: Operation Restore Hope. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell landed on the ship that April for a discussion of military tactics taking place in and around Mogadishu. Following that, she assisted with another operation off the coast of Kuwait. She later made stops in Toulon, France, and Rota, Spain, en route to her home port in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1998, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet.


With the exception of deployments noted below, from 2004 to 2012, Wasp was not deployed as often or as long as other LHDs, as she was assigned to Joint Strike Fighter F-35B Lightning II testing and kept close to the U.S. as much as possible.[3][4]

Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom
A Boatswain's Mate directs a Landing Craft Utility during wet well operations on board USS Wasp

In February 2004, Wasp set sail to take the Marines of 1/6 Marine Regiment and HMM-266 Rein to Afghanistan. They arrived at the end of March to offload the Marines, then returned to the U.S. to pick up more Marines from HMH-461 and transported them to Djibouti. After offloading HMH-461 in Djibouti, they picked up the Marines of HMM-266 Rein from Kuwait in August 2004, and returned to Norfolk, Virginia mid-September 2004. On 7 July 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney visited Wasp. He gave a speech honoring the efforts of the USS Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Wasp was the first ship to deploy the V-22 Osprey, doing so in October 2007, by carrying VMM-263's ten MV-22B Ospreys to Iraq to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Wasp also served as the platform for the program's first Sea Trials in December 1990, involving the third and fourth Osprey prototypes.[5] Wasp was the principal attraction at Fleet Week 2007 in New York City.

MH-47 Chinook takes off from Wasp

On 4 October 2009, Wasp deployed from her base at Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia on a three-month voyage down the Atlantic coast to the Caribbean, with Destroyer Squadron 40 and an embarked Marine Air-Ground Task Force.[6] The 1,100 sailors and 365 embarked Marines conducted operations and exercises in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility. The operation, called Southern Partnership Station, is part of a maritime strategy, which focuses on building interoperability and cooperation in the region while meeting common challenges.[citation needed] In mid-October 2009, Wasp set anchor at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba and disembarked Marines who were assigned to training status for approximately three months while Wasp went underway.


Video of a USMC F-35B conducting the first vertical landing on a flight deck aboard Wasp on 3 October 2011

In September 2007, Wasp sailed to Nicaragua to offer assistance to the victims of Hurricane Felix. On 29 June 2010, Wasp was one of the 18 international vessels taking part in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Canadian Navy in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Canadian and international warships were reviewed by Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.[7] In 2011, Wasp was modified for F-35B testing, including replacing a Sea Sparrow launcher with monitoring equipment.[8] She returned to sea on 7 July 2011.[9] On 3 October 2011, the F-35B made its first vertical landing at sea on Wasp. On 5 October 2011, Wasp successfully launched her first F-35B.[10]

On 30 January 2012, Wasp set sail for Operation Bold Alligator, the largest amphibious exercise conducted by U.S. forces in the last decade. The exercise took place from 30 January to 12 February, both afloat and ashore in and around Virginia and North Carolina. In May 2012, Wasp participated in New York's Fleet Week, docking at Pier 92 on the Hudson River and offering tours of the ship to the general public.[11] In July 2012, Wasp visited Boston for Fleet Week 2012 and Fourth of July festivities. On 30 October 2012, Wasp was sent towards the Hurricane Sandy impact area in case the USN was needed to support the disaster relief efforts.[12] In June 2016, Wasp deployed for a six-month tour to the Middle East [13] In October 2016, the US Navy announced that Wasp would deploy to Sasebo, Japan in late 2017, replacing her sister ship Bonhomme Richard, which will be moved to San Diego, California.[14] On 1 August 2016, Marine AV-8B Harriers from Wasp began strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya as part of crewed and uncrewed airstrikes on targets near Sirte, launching at least five times within two days.[15]

The USN planned to deploy Wasp to the Asia-Pacific region in 2017 with a squadron of 16 F-35Bs.[16] In September 2017, Wasp became the first U.S. warship to arrive in the Caribbean to provide supplies, damage assessment, and evacuation assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.[17] On 3 March 2018, Wasp departed Sasebo, Japan for a routine patrol of the Indo-Pacific region. A detachment of 6 F-35Bs from VMFA-121 were deployed with the ship, marking the first operational shipboard deployment for the F-35B.[18]

On 27 May 2019, President Donald J. Trump landed in a helicopter aboard the Wasp anchored near Yokosuka, Japan to deliver Memorial Day remarks to the troops during his visit to Japan for a state dinner with Emperor of Japan, Emperor Naruhito and Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.[19]


From early 2021 through July 2022, Wasp underwent a comprehensive refurbishment at BAE Systems Platforms & Services.[20]

Coat of arms[edit]

Dark blue and gold are the traditional colors of the US Navy. Blue alludes to the sea, the theater of Naval Operations. Gold is for excellence. The chevron, a traditional symbol for support, represents the amphibious assault mission of the ship. It resembles a wave move to shore and refers to the deployment of men, women and cargo. The wings highlight USS Wasp's aviation heritage and capabilities. The modern ship with crossed officers sword and enlisted cutlass adapted from the surface warfare emblems represents leadership, teamwork and the ship's mission in surface operations. The pile of a sharp pointed "V" shape is expressive of assault, combat readiness and victory. The wasp, with its well-developed wings and ability to administer painful stings, epitomizes quick striking power. The stars recall two of the previous ships named Wasp, CV-7 and CV-18, aircraft carriers that earned two and eight battle stars respectively for World War II service. The red disc or sun refers to World War II Japan and the Pacific Theater where these aircraft carriers saw heavy combat action. The tridents are symbolic of sea power and weaponry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fact File: Amphibious Assault Ships - LHD/LHA(R)". U.S. Navy. 13 April 2016. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  2. ^ "LHD-1 Wasp class". Federation of American Scientists. 9 May 2000. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  3. ^ Cavas, Christopher P. (22 March 2013). "Wasp skirts major deployments for 8 years – Navy denies problems, cites amphib's role in aviation tests". Military Times. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  4. ^ Sanborn, James (27 May 2015). "Marine F-35B conducts first operational testing at sea". Marine Corps Times. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  5. ^ Jones, Kathryn (14 December 1990). "V-22 tilt-rotor passes tests at sea". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Navy News Service - Eye on the Fleet: Amphibious Assault Ships Photo Gallery". United States Navy. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  7. ^ Auld, Alison; Doucette, Keith (29 June 2010). "The Queen reviews flotilla of international ships - Nova Scotia News -". The Chronicle Herald. Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  8. ^ Thomas, Justin K. (22 July 2011). "Wasp prepares for Joint Strike Fighter". Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  9. ^ Stokes, Jah'Mai. (22 July 2011). "Wasp returns to sea for certifications". Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  10. ^ "F-35B Completes Successful Initial Shipboard Vertical Landing Aboard USS WASP". Joint Strike Fighter Program Office Public Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps. 3 October 2011. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  11. ^ "New York Fleet Week Event Guide 2012". CBS New York. 23 May 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  12. ^ Kirby, John (31 October 2012). "Oct. 31st – Hurricane Sandy Update". Department of the Navy, Office of Information. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  13. ^ Bacon, Lance (24 June 2016). "This aging amphib will soon take on ISIS. Here's how sailors and Marines got it ready for the fight". Marine Corps Times. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  14. ^ "USS Wasp to relieve USS Bonhomme Richard in Japan". Archived from the original on 26 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  15. ^ Marine Harriers Strike ISIS Targets in Libya from USS Wasp Archived 4 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine -, 3 August 2016
  16. ^ Jean, Grace (31 October 2013). "USN to forward deploy F-35B on board modified LHD in 2017". Jane's Navy International. Archived from the original on 1 December 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  17. ^ "US warships begin Hurricane Irma relief operations". CNN. 7 September 2017. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Marine F-35Bs Arrive on USS Wasp for First Pacific JSF Deployment". USNI News. 5 March 2018. Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  19. ^ Colvin, Jill; Superville, Darlene (28 May 2019). "Trump wishes 'happy Memorial Day' to US, Japanese troops". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 28 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  20. ^ "USS Wasp Returns to Naval Station Norfolk".| US Navy, 2nd Fleet, News (28 July 2022)

External links[edit]

External videos
F-35B tests on USS Wasp in 2011
video icon Short TakeOff
video icon BF-04 vertical landing