USS New Orleans Makes Port Visit to Sasebo, Japan

Story Number: NNS120601-02Release Date: 6/1/2012 5:36:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Gabriel Owens, USS New Orleans Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Sasebo, Japan for a scheduled port visit, June 1.

The ship pulled into Sasebo Naval Base for the crew's third port visit since departing the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility May 8.

New Orleans spent more than four months conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in 5th Fleet.

"This is a brief one-day visit to change out our LCACs [Landing Craft Air Cushion class hovercrafts] and receive some much-needed supplies," said Cmdr. Dennis Jacko, New Orleans' commanding officer. "But we felt it was important to get the crew at least a little time for 'r and r' and see some of the wonderful country of Japan."

While in Sasebo, Sailors and Marines have a chance to visit the historical city of Nagasaki through a tour offered by the ships' Morale, Welfare and Recreation departments.

Other Sailors and Marines plan on staying local to the Sasebo area.

"I'm excited," said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Keith Mehle, a New Orleans' crew member. "I've never been to Japan. It's only for a day, but it's long enough to take in some sights and try some authentic sushi."

New Orleans and the 11th MEU are part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group that is currently deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

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