Story by PO2 Adam Austin on 12/10/2016ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and embarked Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) visited at Naval Station Rota, Dec. 7.
San Antonio conducted the port call in order to conduct an agricultural wash down and vehicle inspection in preparation for their return to homeport.
"After almost two months underway and lots of hard work by our Sailors and Marines, we've been looking forward to this port call. It was a nice opportunity for the crew members to relax on liberty before our final stretch to homeport."
- USS San Antonio Commanding Officer Capt. Darren Nelson.
San Antonio had spent more than 40 days supporting Operation Odyssey Lightning, conducting precision air strikes against Daesh targets in support of Libyan forces fighting in Sirte, Libya.
Agricultural wash downs are conducted prior to a ship returning to the U.S to prevent transfer of foreign contaminants, animal and plant pests, and noxious weeds. Wash downs are part of the U.S. Navy's effort preserve our native ecosystem.
The San Antonio is the first ship of its class, capable of integrating Naval and Marine forces in a joint, multi-mission platform capable of projecting power over land and sea.
San Antonio is deployed as part of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Commander, Amphibious Squadron Six commands the Wasp ARG, which consists of San Antonio, amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41). The 22nd MEU is currently embarked on the Wasp ARG.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
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For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.