Story by LT Adagray Willis on 06/17/2019Brisbane, Australia The forward-deployed San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20), Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48), and the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Brisbane, Australia, for a scheduled port visit June, 18.
"It's great to be back in Brisbane. The crew is ecstatic to have this opportunity to come back to Australia again after having visited Cairns this past November and Brisbane in June of 2017," said Capt. Thomas E. Shultz, commanding officer of Green Bay. "We really appreciate the warm welcome we receive when we visit, and we're looking forward to a little rest and relaxation, enjoying everything Brisbane has to offer."
The Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 31st MEU team is a flexible, self-sustained crisis response force, capable of conducting operations from combat missions, to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. They are the premier crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Australia and the United States have a deep friendship, and the United States Marine Corps and Navy have a long history visiting and training in Australia," said Lt. Col. Christopher Johnson, Combat Logistics Battalion 31 commanding officer. "I have only known Australians to be wonderful ambassadors of their country while aboard, and I hope the Marines and Sailors visiting Brisbane sustain our mutual feelings of kinship and friendship. Thank you for hosting us and welcoming us to your beautiful country."
Green Bay and Ashland are forward deployed from Sasebo, Japan, in Brisbane prior to Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019.
"Fortunately, our schedule has afforded the crew an opportunity to spend a few days in Brisbane. The crew is excited to participate in the many opportunities to explore Australia," said Cmdr. Patrick German, commanding officer of Ashland. "The city of Brisbane is beautiful and the people are fantastic. We are looking forward to a great port visit."
Wasp is the flagship of the Wasp ARG and, with the embarked 31st MEU, is currently deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Operations.