USS Denver (LPD 9) pulls away from the pier at Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, Jan. 27. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam D. Wainwright)

SASEBO, Japan - Amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9), departed Sasebo, Japan for deployment in 7th Fleet area of responsibility Jan. 27.

Denver is the second oldest deployable ship in the U.S. Navy behind the USS Constitution.

"The oldest gator in the U.S. Navy, is what we call ourselves," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Jamie Dixon, assigned to USS Denver. "It's an older ship so we face different problems than other vessels in the fleet, but when it's time to get underway we are always up for the challenge."

During this deployment, Denver will participate in its spring patrol in 7th Fleet and the annual, joint exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand.

According to Dixon, Denver and a ship from Thailand will cross deck Sailors, which means members from each others navy will board the other's ship.

"We will train them on how we operate and they will do the same to our Sailors onboard their vessel," said Dixon.

Denver will be conducting these exercises and patrols with the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group commanded by Capt. Heidi Agle, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 11 and reports to the Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, headquartered in White Beach, Okinawa, Japan.