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SANTA RITA, Guam - The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Guam for a scheduled port visit, Jan. 7.
As the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands, Guam is the home to one of the U.S. Navy’s largest and most strategic island bases in the Western Pacific. The base serves as a hub for U.S. ships as they operate in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
"Guam has a long history with the U.S. Navy and is very important to what we do in the Pacific," said Capt. Joseph Olson, America’s commanding officer. "For the ship, it’s an opportunity to take on supplies and complete routine maintenance, and for the crew, it’s a chance to enjoy the beauty, heritage and culture of the island firsthand."
For those looking to offer a lending hand to the community, the ship’s command religious ministries department is scheduled to conduct community service projects.
“I get a lot of fulfillment out of volunteering and meeting different people,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Jasmine Edwards, assigned to America. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work and a lot of fun joining assisting Piti village and planting native trees.”
This port visit marks the ship’s first port visit of 2018 and, for most of the crew, their first time experiencing the island.
“We are extremely excited to visit Guam and experience the unique lifestyle it offers,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Charmaine Bacon. “With deployment winding down, I can’t wait to just relax, sample local cuisine and enjoy the beach.”
After visiting Guam, America will continue on her scheduled deployment as part of the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
The America Amphibious Ready Group is operating in the Indo-Asia Pacific region to strengthen partnerships and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency.