By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shelby M. Tucker, USS Iwo Jima Public Affairs
DUQM, Oman (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) pulled out of port in Duqm, Oman after completing mid-deployment voyage repairs and maintenance aboard the ship.
Sailors and Marines aboard Iwo Jima worked with civilian contractors in Duqm to conduct maintenance on many of the ship's vital systems including the replacement of lagging, preservation of the ship's hull, installation of a radar mount and repairs to passageway decks.
Though the primary objective in visiting Duqm was to prepare the ship for the remainder of its deployment, the crew also enjoyed some down-time, visiting the local area and participating in events hosted by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department.
"I think the port visit went very well," said Desirae Dine, Iwo Jima's MWR Fun Boss, a native of Traverse City, Michigan. "The Sailors and Marines really made the most of it, for what we had available to us."
The main event that was hosted on the pier was the Captain's Cup, which lasted the entire week and consisted of a variety of games including Spades, a 5K run, kickball, bowling, flag football, volleyball and softball.
"There was a lot of enthusiasm," said Dine. "We really seized what Duqm had to offer. Even though it was a working port, we got a chance to stretch our legs out on dry land and have some down time."
Another escape to dry land was the opportunity to relax at two different hotels just minutes from the pier. The crew was offered a view of the ocean, Wi-Fi services, a pool and food native to Oman.
"It was an amazing place," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Jews, a native of Baltimore. "The view was great at the hoteland even though we were in the middle of the desert, it almost seemed like Hawaii with the trees and the pool."
Iwo Jima is deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (IWO ARG/24 MEU) in support of maritime security operations (MSO) and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
The IWO ARG/24 MEU is comprised of embarked Marines from the 24th MEU, multi-purpose amphibious assault dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), and amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21).