NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon in December for action while in Aquaba, Jordan, in August.
The Combat Action Ribbon is awarded to a ship's crew when the safety of the ship and crew is endangered by enemy attack - such as a ship engaged by shore fire - and the ship's crew performance is considered satisfactory.
Kearsarge's robust force protection measures thwarted a terrorist attack while pierside in Aquaba with USS Ashland (LSD 48) Aug. 19 in support of Exercise Infinite Moonlight, a two-week training exercise between the Jordanian military, Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Due to Kearsarge's robust force protection measures, a direct attack was prevented.
No U.S. Sailors or Marines were injured and no U.S. equipment was damaged. Regrettably, a Jordanian sentry was killed and a second Jordanian sentry wounded at the jointly manned pier gate adjacent to the ship.
Following the attack, the ships maintained their presence in Aquaba Harbor, conducting Air Cushion Landing Craft (LCAC) and helicopter operations in support of Infinite Moonlight. Upon completion of the exercise Aug. 25, the Marines were transported back to the ship via LCAC and helicopters.
According to Kearsarge leadership, cooperative training exercises are essential to building trust and relationships with all nations fighting against transnational terrorism, and because of that, Kearsarge continued the exercise with Jordan.
"Completion of the exercise reinforced the notion that attacks on coalition forces will not result in the withdrawal of forces from exercises or operations," said Capt. Joseph Sensi, Kearsarge's commanding officer.
Kearsarge, which returned from deployment in September, is currently undergoing a planned maintenance availability at BAE Systems shipyard in Norfolk, Va.
For related news, visit the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lhd3/.