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NEWS | Feb. 27, 2024

America Arrives in Osaka

By Lt. Beau Nickerson, USS America (LHA 6)

The forward-deployed amphibious assault carrier, USS America (LHA 6) with embarked Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Osaka, Japan, Feb. 27.

The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the United States, provide the crew an opportunity for some rest and relaxation, and to make logistic preparations for participation in the 18th iteration of Exercise Iron Fist.

“We’re ecstatic to be returning to Osaka,” said America’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Manny Pardo. “Our partnership with Japan is critical in maintaining peace and stability within the area of operations. Port visits like this are always special because they give our two communities a chance to interact and build a comradery that goes so much deeper than just an alliance between two countries; but is instead a real friendship between people with shared values.”

While in port, Sailors and Marines will have the opportunity to participate in community relations activities with the Holy Family Orphanage and sightseeing tours coordinated through America’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation team.

Exercise Iron Fist is an annual exercise designed to increase interoperability and strengthen the relationships between the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The 18th iteration of the exercise will occur in various locations in Japan, from Kyushu to Okinawa, and at sea.

USS America, lead ship of the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), along with Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are underway conducting routine integrated operations in U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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