From USS Iwo Jima Public Affairs
AQABA, Jordan (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Vice Adm. John Miller paid a visit to the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), June 18.
Miller met with Iwo Jima Commanding Officer, Capt. Dana Gordon, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8, Capt. Michael McMillan and the Commanding Officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Col. Scott Benedict. He also toured the ship, met with Sailors and Marines for lunch on the mess decks and held three all-hands calls.
During his all-hands call with the E-6 and below Marines and Sailors, Miller highlighted Iwo Jima's support to Yemen evacuation and contingency operations.
"In the 36 months I have had command, we have not asked more from another ship than we have from Iwo Jima," he explained. "This deployment has been extremely important to the strategic goals of this area of operations."
Iwo Jima left its homeport of Mayport, Florida, Dec. 11, and began a regularly scheduled seven-month deployment to the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
While deployed, Iwo Jima spent 164 days in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, 149 of which were underway days. The ship conducted more than 70 well deck operations, participated in multiple bilateral and multilateral training exercises and conducted several strategic transits of the Strait of Bab Al Mandeb.
Iwo Jima is currently serving as the flagship for the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, which includes USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and the embarked Marines of the 24th MEU, as well as various supporting elements from Assault Craft Unit 4, Beachmaster Unit 2, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28.