An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 14, 2017

USS Wasp Holds Change of Command

By USS Wasp (LHD 1)

The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) received a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony Dec. 13.

Capt. John Howard relieved Capt. Andrew Smith, who served as Wasp's commanding officer since April 2016. 

Because of the schedule involving Wasp's current transit to Sasebo, Japan, the ceremony took place while steaming in the southern Pacific Ocean. 

"What this day is about, is me thanking all of you... I want to thank all of you Stingers for serving our Navy and our nation," said Smith during his remarks, invoking the term used to refer to Wasp Sailors. "What this crew has accomplished over the last three years is quite simply amazing, and it has been an inspiration to me to be a part of it.

Wasp returned to Norfolk from its first deployment in more than a decade in December 2016, after supporting Operation ODYSSEY LIGHTNING, and other operational commitments in. After a five-month yard period and a compressed work-up schedule, Wasp prepared to transit to Japan for a scheduled homeport shift. 

Only four days into their transit, Wasp was diverted to the Caribbean where its crew served as the first responders to St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, and the island nation of Dominica in the wakes of both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. 

Wasp also assisted Puerto Rico, whose infrastructure had been devastated by the hurricanes. After nearly two months of humanitarian relief missions, Wasp departed for a brief stop in Mayport, Florida for repairs and supplies, and resumed her transit to Japan.

Capt. Howard, who had previously served as the Wasp's Executive Officer before taking command, offered some insight regarding the accomplishments of the crew, and noted his hopes for the future. Wasp. 

"I am very fortunate to be able to be part of this," said Howard, during his remarks. "The challenges ahead are no more severe than what we have already done, and I have great confidence that you will meet the way ahead with all the success... with the things we have already accomplished. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with you, very excited to become a member of Team Wasp, and looking very much forward to the next couple of years." 

Wasp is currently transiting to Sasebo, Japan in order to relieve the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the amphibious flagship of 7th fleet. 
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Koa Moana 24: U.S. Marines and Sailors Support Humanitarian Aid Efforts in Chuuk
U.S. Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 13, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, provide humanitarian disaster relief preparation by offloading approximately one thousand bags of rice and three thousand cases of water to Federal States of Micronesia outer island of Chuuk during exercise Koa Moana 24 in the Chuuk Lagoon, July 5-9, 2024. During Koa Moana’s deployment throughout the Indo-Pacific region, U.S. Marines and Sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force work to strengthen alliances and partnerships with development of interoperable capabilities, combined operations, theater security cooperation, and capacity-building efforts. Exercises like Koa Moana administer 1st MLG to tackle complex challenges by fostering collaboration among bold thinkers and employing creative methods to optimize prepositioning, enhance sustainment and distribution networks, and bolster readiness in distributed environments such as Palau, the Federal States of Micronesia, and Papua New Guinea. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Sean Arnold)
July 22, 2024 - In a demonstration of solidarity and resilience, U.S. Marines and Sailors from Koa Moana 24 have been instrumental in helping deliver humanitarian aid support across the archipelago of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia...

U.S. Navy Conducts Successful Live-Fire Demonstration at RIMPAC 2024
240712-N-N2201-001 (July 12, 2024) A Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), heads out to sea for the Poniard launching test from ROKS Cheon Ja Bong as part of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), 12 July. This innovative capability test demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to integrating mature cutting-edge technology into its operations to maintain maritime superiority and readiness.
July 22, 2024 - The U.S. Navy achieved a significant milestone at the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2024 exercise with the successful launching and testing of Poniard rockets from a Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV). The 12 July test is...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Guam Liberation Day 
Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Guam July 18-20, where he met with senior government officials and U.S. service members to reiterate USINDOPACOM’s priority of defending the homeland and to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the island. As a part of the homeland, Guam serves as a strategic U.S. outpost in the Western Pacific.
July 21, 2024 - Tumon, GUAM — Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Guam July 18-20, where he met with senior government officials and U.S. service members to reiterate USINDOPACOM’s priority of defending the...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands  
From left, Saipan Gov. Arnold I. Placios, Rear Adm. Greg Huffman, commander, Joint Task Force – Micronesia, Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and Lt. Gov. David M. Apata take a photo during USINDOPACOM’s visit to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands on July 20, 2024. Paparo was joined by Huffman, Rear Adm. Brent DeVore, commander, Joint Region Marianas, and Fleet Master Chief David Isom, USINDOPACOM command senior enlisted leader, emphasizing personal relationships and the enduring obligations to the people of CNMI, which is part of the U.S. homeland and under U.S. legal and defense protections. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression and, when necessary, fighting to win. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith)
July 21, 2024 - SAIPAN, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands — Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Saipan and Tinian in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands on July 20, 2024, where he met with...

U.S. Joint Forces Strengthen Capabilities and Partnerships in Palau During Valiant Shield 24
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Stephanie Davis, a communication strategy and operations officer with I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) helps a child try on a Kevlar helmet during a military equipment exposition as part of exercise Valiant Shield 24 at Palau International Airport, Airai, Palau, June 13, 2024. U.S. joint forces conducting exercise Valiant Shield 24 held a military equipment exposition to offer insight into military operations and build relationships with the Palauan community. I Marine Expeditionary Force conducts exercises like Valiant Shield to enhance interoperability with allied

and partner forces and expand the operational capability of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Hannah Hollerud)
July 20, 2024 - Joint forces with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, allies and partners concluded the tenth iteration of exercise Valiant Shield, June 18, 2024, following 12 days of multilateral operations in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern...