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USS Tripoli, Navy’s Newest Assault Carrier, Back in San Diego After First Deployment

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USS Tripoli returns
The USS Tripoli returns to Naval Base San Diego. Navy photo

The USS Tripoli, the Navy’s newest amphibious assault carrier, returned to Naval Base San Diego on Tuesday following its initial deployment.

The Tripoli left San Diego with 16 Marine F-35B Lightining II stealth fighters as well as helicopters and tiltrotors to support the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit during a 7-month deployment in the Indo-Pacific region.

The warship made part calls in Australia, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, traveled 40,300 nautical miles and completed 2,052 hours of flight operations

“I am proud of Tripoli for a successful first deployment,” said Rear Adm. James Kirk, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3. “The ship and crew are on the leading edge, setting the example and testing the limits of the assault carrier.”

“LHAs are designed to support the future of the Marine Corps Air Combat Element, and Tripoli has done just that. I am excited to see what else they can bring to the fight,” Kirk said.

Capt. John C. Kiefaber, the Tripoli’s commanding officer, said the deployment demonstrated the “unique capabilities” of the new warship.

During the the deployment, the Tripoli tested the ability of the new assault carrier to support a large force of F-35s — what the Navy calls the “Lightning carrier” concept.

“Whether it was launching and recovering aircraft at night, acting as a base of operations for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct operations ashore, or serving as an instrument of diplomacy to our ally and partner nations, the crew performed their duties professionally and demonstrated why they are the Navy’s greatest asset,” Kiefaber said.

The Tripoli, an America-class amphibious assault carrier, was commissioned in July 2020.

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