USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41)

USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) OFFICIAL PAGE of USS WHIDBEY ISLAND- INTREPID VANGUARD "First in Her Class, First Always!"
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02/09/2020
WBI 35th Birthday Celebration

Please enjoy footage from our 31 JAN 2020 celebration of our ship's commissioning on 09 FEB 1985. History came alive on our deckplates that day, thank you to all of our former shipmates who contributed their stories! Happy Birthday WBI!

Good morning and Happy Birthday Team 41! Our ship was commissioned into service 35 years ago today! Check out the articl...
02/09/2020
Whidbey Island Celebrates 35 Years of Service to the Fleet

Good morning and Happy Birthday Team 41! Our ship was commissioned into service 35 years ago today! Check out the article on Navy.mil about our recent birthday celebration!

USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) Sailors held a ceremony celebrating the ship's 35th birthday Jan. 31 while pierside at Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek.

We're back with more photos, folks!#USSWhidbeyIsland's chaplain christened the ship's new small boat, "Double Bluff" and...
02/05/2020

We're back with more photos, folks!

#USSWhidbeyIsland's chaplain christened the ship's new small boat, "Double Bluff" and the crew conducted small boat operations while underway today in the Atlantic Ocean during sea trials.

Stay tuned for more photos!

#IntrepidVanguard

#USSWhidbeyIsland is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting sea trials!Check out these photos from Feb. 4, and be sur...
02/05/2020

#USSWhidbeyIsland is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting sea trials!

Check out these photos from Feb. 4, and be sure to check back to see more of the crew in action.

#IntrepidVanguard

The USS Whidbey Island crew gathered to commemorate the 35th anniversary of her commissioning on Friday (we know, we're ...
02/02/2020

The USS Whidbey Island crew gathered to commemorate the 35th anniversary of her commissioning on Friday (we know, we're a little early!). Several of the ships former Commanding Officers joined us, along with members of the Navy League Richmond, who brought along a gift for our MWR fund. Check out some photos from the day here! We've got a video in the works too, stay tuned for it next weekend!

Our Officers assembled in the pilot house this afternoon to witness the pinning of USS Whidbey Island's newest qualified...
01/30/2020

Our Officers assembled in the pilot house this afternoon to witness the pinning of USS Whidbey Island's newest qualified Surface Warfare Officer, LTJG Swain! Congratulations!

Our engineering rates dedicate a lot of their time to the machine rooms while maintaining our engines. Recently, GSM3 Cr...
01/29/2020

Our engineering rates dedicate a lot of their time to the machine rooms while maintaining our engines. Recently, GSM3 Crespo was re-enlisted by our Main Propulsion Assistant right here onboard in one of our main engineering spaces! Congratulations, GSM3!

USS Whidbey Island sailors will be fit to fight for years to come thanks to the new gym equipment our MWR recently recei...
01/29/2020

USS Whidbey Island sailors will be fit to fight for years to come thanks to the new gym equipment our MWR recently received! Thanks to all of Team 41 who came out and did the heavy lifting to get this goal accomplished!

Rear Adm. Mustin, Commander Expeditionary Strike Group 2, hosted leadership for a warfighter's forum on USS Whidbey Isla...
01/22/2020

Rear Adm. Mustin, Commander Expeditionary Strike Group 2, hosted leadership for a warfighter's forum on USS Whidbey Island yesterday morning. The event is a monthly opportunity to engage with the units of ESG2. A job well done to the LSD 41 culinary team for their welcoming hospitality!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND Diversity Committee led a celebration in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr la...
01/20/2020

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND Diversity Committee led a celebration in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr last week. Members of the committee read stories of Dr. King's life and accomplishments, including his Nobel Prize, and Sailors enjoyed a special cake prepared by our talented Culinary Specialists. Today's MLK holiday marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy.

CDR Sullivan, ENS Gonzalez and LTJG Edwards had the opportunity to meet the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gilday, durin...
01/18/2020

CDR Sullivan, ENS Gonzalez and LTJG Edwards had the opportunity to meet the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gilday, during a visit to the Pentagon this week while attending the Surface Navy Association Symposium. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to speak with our Officers, Sir! Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday

Calling all former WBI sailors! The Mighty Whidbey is turning 35 this year, and we would like to know what your service ...
01/13/2020

Calling all former WBI sailors! The Mighty Whidbey is turning 35 this year, and we would like to know what your service on our fine ship means to you! If you would like to share your thoughts on what serving on WHIDBEY ISLAND has meant to you, please send us a direct message here on Facebook, or to our PAO at [email protected]. All submissions are due by 01 FEB 2020. Your sentiments will be screened and appropriate statements will be read by one of our current sailors at our birthday celebration, recorded and shared on our page!

2019 has been a year of milestones for USS WHIDBEY ISLAND, capped by our triumphant return to the sea! Our final newslet...
12/27/2019

2019 has been a year of milestones for USS WHIDBEY ISLAND, capped by our triumphant return to the sea! Our final newsletter for the year is a nod to our ship and shipmate's many accomplishments throughout the year. Check it out here!

12/24/2019
Holiday Greeting 2019

To all of our families, friends and former USS WHIDBEY ISLAND sailors, Happy Holidays!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND successfully completed Contractor Sea Trials this week! CDR Sullivan recognized several sailors for t...
12/19/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND successfully completed Contractor Sea Trials this week! CDR Sullivan recognized several sailors for their excellent work this underway with a BZ and the opportunity to take in the sights from the CO's chair in the pilot house. A job well done to all!

12/10/2019

One final surprise tonight for the families and friends of our sailors! If you were unable to join us for today's frocking ceremony, you can watch it from the comfort of your own home. Check it out below and enjoy!

A few more photo's from today's frocking ceremony! Congratulations again to all who advanced!
12/10/2019

A few more photo's from today's frocking ceremony! Congratulations again to all who advanced!

USS Whidbey Island crew gathered for an all hands call this morning to celebrate some of our sailors accomplishments - i...
12/10/2019

USS Whidbey Island crew gathered for an all hands call this morning to celebrate some of our sailors accomplishments - including our sailors of the year! CDR Sullivan then frocked all of our sailors who advanced based on the outcome of their advancement exam this year. Many of our sailors were joined onboard by their spouses and families. Congratulations to all!

A job well done to our crew as we successfully got underway this week to begin contractor sea trials! Contractor sea tri...
12/07/2019

A job well done to our crew as we successfully got underway this week to begin contractor sea trials! Contractor sea trials is designed to test the work that was completed during our maintenance period. It was the first underway for many of our sailors, and a good opportunity to truly understand what it means to be part of the crew!

It's almost that time of year again! The USS Whidbey Island holiday party is right around the corner! Have your sailors ...
12/02/2019

It's almost that time of year again! The USS Whidbey Island holiday party is right around the corner! Have your sailors get their tickets before time runs out!

11/27/2019

CONGRATULATIONS FY 2019 SAILORS OF THE YEAR!!!!!

JUNIOR SOY: HT3 VOGEL
SOY: LS2 NAGTALON
SENIOR SOY: CS1 NEAL

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11/27/2019

As promised, attached is the recording from tonights Town Hall. A big thank you to all the WBI families that came out!

11/20/2019

Calling all WBI families!!! Are you wondering what the upcoming underway will be like? Worried how you will stay in touch with your sailor? Unsure what the long range schedule looks like? Answers to these question and many more will be addressed at our Town Hall next Tuesday. Please see below for event details. See you there!

LT Commeree, our Doctor, and her team of corpsmen know that flu season is right around the corner. They are helping to k...
11/20/2019

LT Commeree, our Doctor, and her team of corpsmen know that flu season is right around the corner. They are helping to keep our crew healthy this winter by providing flu shots this week and next week. A healthy crew is essential to getting our ship safely back over the horizon. Thanks medical!

Our Engineers have been working long days, including today, preparing for our upcoming Light Off Assessment. Their persi...
11/16/2019

Our Engineers have been working long days, including today, preparing for our upcoming Light Off Assessment. Their persistence, perseverance and teamwork are the driving force pushing us ever closer to the finish line and back out over the horizon! Keep up the great work!

11/11/2019
Veteran's Day 2019

In honor of Veteran's Day 2019, we asked some of our sailors what it means to be a Veteran. Thank you to all of the brave men and women who we honor today!

11/10/2019
U.S. Marine Corps

Happy 244th birthday to our brothers and sisters of the U.S. Marine Corps!

Happy Birthday Marines!

Today, we celebrate our heritage and honor the sacrifices of those who fought before us.

During yesterday's All Hands Call, CDR Sullivan recognized the significant contributions of a number of our sailors, awa...
11/09/2019

During yesterday's All Hands Call, CDR Sullivan recognized the significant contributions of a number of our sailors, awarding Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) qualifications, and recognition of OS3 Philby's advancement. SN Nixon's mother was also able to join us to see her son receive his End of Tour award. USS WHIDBEY ISLAND is closer than ever to getting back out over the horizon, and it is the significant dedication and contributions made by all of our sailors that are driving us ever closer. BZ to all on a job well done!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND hosted a tour for a group of local Hampton Roads executive leaders participating in the CIVIC Leaders...
11/08/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND hosted a tour for a group of local Hampton Roads executive leaders participating in the CIVIC Leadership Institute yesterday. The tour was part of Naval Station Norfolk’s Military Day for the CIVIC Leadership Institute. The goal of CIVIC is to connect executive leaders through service to improve life in Hampton Roads. After being welcomed aboard by CDR Sullivan, ENS Roberts, ENS Bowser and CMC Hogan walked the group around the ship highlighting our platform’s unique capabilities.

Spooky things were at play onboard USS Whidbey Island today thanks to our MWR! LCDR Potak found some ghouls during the d...
10/31/2019

Spooky things were at play onboard USS Whidbey Island today thanks to our MWR! LCDR Potak found some ghouls during the divisional door decorating contest, and the crew got into the Halloween spirit during a costume contest this afternoon - the winners were FN Uhles and LT Jensen, who dressed up as each other! Happy Halloween Team 41!

Congratulations to OS3 Parrish on his advancement today!
10/30/2019

Congratulations to OS3 Parrish on his advancement today!

CDR Sullivan, LT Jensen and BM2 Pugh testing control of our PORT Engines from the Helm Console today! Another big step f...
10/29/2019

CDR Sullivan, LT Jensen and BM2 Pugh testing control of our PORT Engines from the Helm Console today! Another big step forward in getting USS WHIDBEY ISLAND getting underway!

Fair winds and following seas to outgoing Executive Officer CDR Arnold as he departs from USS WHIDBEY ISLAND today. The ...
10/25/2019

Fair winds and following seas to outgoing Executive Officer CDR Arnold as he departs from USS WHIDBEY ISLAND today. The entire crew lined up from the turn table to the boat deck to ring him off this morning. It has been an honor and a privilege serving with you, Sir!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND – During today’s All Hands Call, Commander Sullivan awarded two End of Tour awards, three Sailor of t...
10/18/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND – During today’s All Hands Call, Commander Sullivan awarded two End of Tour awards, three Sailor of the Quarter awards, and advanced two sailors to Third Class Petty Officer! Congratulations to CSC Andrade, HM1 Vandesande, PS1 Feracho, LS2 Hailey, CS3 Vickers and the new YN3 Lepage and LS3 Mohammed! Additionally, congratulations to our newest PACT sailors: GSMSN Alvarez, MMFN Luna, PSSN Ipparaguirre, and PSSN Trinh! Keep up the great work Team 41!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND is looking festive for the Navy's 244th Birthday today! Thank you to all of our brothers and sisters ...
10/13/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND is looking festive for the Navy's 244th Birthday today! Thank you to all of our brothers and sisters who have come before us and serve beside us carrying on the Navy legacy! #NoHigherHonor #244thBirthday

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND Sailors joined their brothers and sisters on the USS San Antonio (LPD-17) today in an early celebrati...
10/10/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND Sailors joined their brothers and sisters on the USS San Antonio (LPD-17) today in an early celebration of the Navy's 244th Birthday on October 13th! After a short ceremony, sailors from both ships mingled and enjoyed a cake made by our CS team. There is #NoHigherHonor than serving in the Navy!

Good morning Team 41! Don’t forget, the fall picnic is coming up this Friday!
10/08/2019

Good morning Team 41! Don’t forget, the fall picnic is coming up this Friday!

It’s that time again! Check out our latest command newsletter, featuring our very own Goat Locker!
10/02/2019

It’s that time again! Check out our latest command newsletter, featuring our very own Goat Locker!

LSD 41's Health Promotion and Wellness Committee would like to remind All Hands that September is Mental Health and Suic...
09/29/2019

LSD 41's Health Promotion and Wellness Committee would like to remind All Hands that September is Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Month. We encourage all Sailors and Family members to take "1 Small ACT" !

Ask: ask if someone is thinking about suicide and actively listen. Acknowledge their talk, behavior and feelings.
Care: Let them know you care and show them you care about what is troubling them.
Treat: Never leave a person who is thinking about suicide or who has a plan for suicide alone.

There are many resources available to our Sailors 24/7.
- If onboard, contact Medical/Chaplain/Suicide Prevention Coordinator (FCC Abuokal) ASAP. If out in town, call 911
- Call the Military Crisis Line 1-800-273-TALK (8255), press 1 or text 838255.
- Military One Source 1-800-342-9647
- Take them to the Emergency Room
Know the warning signs of suicide and take all talk about suicide seriously. Gators, ACT now!

Three cheers for our Engineers! Today USS WHIDBEY ISLAND’s Engineering Department scored a major victory with a successf...
09/24/2019

Three cheers for our Engineers! Today USS WHIDBEY ISLAND’s Engineering Department scored a major victory with a successful start of one of our Main Propulsion Diesel Engines! The energy amongst the crew was palpable in the main machinery room as the engine turned over and roared into life. We are that much closer to putting WBI back over the horizon! A job WELL done engineers!

During today’s All Hands Call, CDR Sullivan had the privilege of immediately advancing several sailors via the Meritorio...
09/21/2019

During today’s All Hands Call, CDR Sullivan had the privilege of immediately advancing several sailors via the Meritorious Advancement Program today! These deserving sailors were selected based on their merit, dedication, and courage to strive for excellence. A job well done shipmates!

In addition, seven sailors were presented with end of tour awards and spot awards in recognition of their contributions. Keep up the excellent work!

09/20/2019
Working on Whidbey

Happy Friday Team 41! Check out our latest "Working on Whidbey" featuring EM3 Gordon!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND welcomed RDML Kenneth Epps, Fleet Supply Officer, US Fleet Forces Command, and RDML (Ret) Robert Bian...
09/16/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND welcomed RDML Kenneth Epps, Fleet Supply Officer, US Fleet Forces Command, and RDML (Ret) Robert Bianchi, CEO, Navy Exchange Service Command onboard today for presentation of the “Best Ship’s Store” award to the Ship’s Retail Operations Division. The ship’s retail store often acts as an unsung hero of morale on board, offering sailors refreshments and the comforts of home. BZ to our S3 Division! Your hard work and dedication is another extraordinary example of why Whidbey Island is FIRST IN HER CLASS, FIRST ALWAYS!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND congratulates our newest Chief Petty Officers! The honor of earning your anchors comes with great res...
09/13/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND congratulates our newest Chief Petty Officers! The honor of earning your anchors comes with great responsibility; go forth and lead wisely!

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND'S anchors are going gold in recognition of receipt of the Retention Excellence Award, thanks to the t...
09/07/2019

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND'S anchors are going gold in recognition of receipt of the Retention Excellence Award, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Command Career Counselor, NC1 Desean Davis. The Retention Excellence Award is awarded to ships demonstrating superior accomplishment in executing programs and policies which best enable Sailors to succeed in their careers. BZ NC1, and great work to all of our hard working shipmates who helped to make this possible!

Address

E Little Creek Rd
Virginia Beach, VA

Welcome to the USS WHIDBEY ISLAND's Facebook Fan Page sponsored by USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41). This page is intended to provide updated information and discussion on USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41). Please visit our official homepage at www.whidbey-island.navy.mil. While this is an open forum, it's also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines here. Comments and posts that do not follow these guidelines will be removed: -We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. -We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Similarly, we do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. -We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. -Apparent spam will be removed and may cause the author(s) to be blocked from page without notice. -You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. - For Official Use Only (FOUO), classified, pre-decisional, proprietary or business-sensitive information should never be discussed here. Don't post personnel lists, rosters, organization charts or directories. This is a violation of privacy. The appearance of external links on this site does not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense. You are encouraged to quote, republish or share any content on this page on your own blog, Web site or other communication/publication. If you do so, please credit the command or the person who authored the content as a courtesy (photo or article byline can be U.S. Navy or MC2 Joe Smith, for example). Thank you for your interest in and support of the men and women of USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41). For more information visit the DoD Social Media user agreement at: http://www.ourmilitary.mil/user_agreement.shtml

General information

History In February 1981, the U. S. Navy awarded Lockheed Shipbuilding Company of Seattle, Washington, a contract to construct LSD 41, first of a new Dock Landing Ship class to replace the aging Thomaston-class LSDs. At 4 August 1981 keel-laying ceremony, the Honorable John F. Lehman, Secretary of the Navy, affixed his signature to the LSD 41 keel; the first keel of an amphibious assault ship lain in more than five years. Although the first ship to carry the name Whidbey Island, there was at one time a ship on Navy rolls named USS Whidbey (AG-141), a small transport purchased from the U. S. Army and servicing U. S. Trust Territories in the late 1940s. Whidbey Island, the first ship in a class designed specifically to interface with the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), assisted in the operational and developmental testing of the amphibious assault craft from July to September 1985 and again in May and July 1986. 1986 – 1991 In August 1986, Whidbey Island embarked on her first major operation, participating in the NATO Exercise Northern Wedding/Bold Guard '86. Whidbey Island's first deployment was to the Mediterranean in January 1987. The ship took part in seven amphibious exercises carrying out duties as Presidential Support Ship for the World Economic Summit in Venice, Italy, May 1987. Whidbey Island deployed to the Mediterranean for the second time in December 1988 with MARG 1-89, participating in three major landing exercises with the Spanish, French and Italian Navies before returning to homeport in June 1989. Whidbey Island was the first amphibious ship from the East Coast to deploy to the European Theater with LCACs. In September and October 1989, Whidbey Island participated in Hurricane Hugo disaster relief operations in the Caribbean Sea. In August 1990, Whidbey Island again deployed to the Mediterranean as part of MARG 3-90. During the trans-Atlantic crossing, the ship received orders to sail to Mamba Station off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia, serving as the flagship for evacuation operations in Operation Sharp Edge, spending 105 consecutive days at sea. By the time Whidbey Island reached its first port, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, the ship had been out to sea for 126 straight days. After further steaming around the Western Mediterranean in support of Operation Desert Storm, Whidbey Island returned to homeport March 1991 from its extended seven-month deployment. 1992 – 1997 On 5 December 1992 Whidbey Island deployed with MARG 1-92 representing the Amphibious Ready Group's operations in the Black Sea with a series of port calls. With members of the Sixth Fleet, the USS Inchon Band, and representatives from the other MARG ships, Whidbey Island made historic port calls to Samsun, Turkey; Constanţa, Romania; and Burgas, Bulgaria, becoming the first United States amphibious ship and the largest United States warship to operate in the Black Sea, the first U.S. Navy ship to visit Samsun in 70 years and the first U.S. Navy ship to ever visit Burgas. Whidbey Island returned to homeport on 5 June 1993. In January 1993, Whidbey Island deployed in support of Operation Sea/Signal/Able Manner, enforcing alien migration policies off the coast of Haiti. Later that year, Whidbey Island deployed to the littorals of South America and West Africa during UNITAS 34-93/WATC 93, the first Whidbey Island-class ship to deploy to this region, again making history by leading the southern-most amphibious exercise ever at Tierra del Fuego, returning from deployment 17 December 1993. In August 1994, in a Combined Joint Task Force Whidbey Island provided emergent lift services for the evacuation of 160 migrant camps from Grand Turk Island. Shortly after, Whidbey Island rescued and transported over 8,100 Cuban migrants from the Straits of Florida during Operation Able Vigil and participated in the restoration of the legitimate government to Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy. At the turn of 1995, Whidbey Island along with Wasp (LHD-1) and Shreveport (LPD-12) participated in NATO cold weather training in the North Atlantic for Exercise Strong Resolve 95. On 28 August 1995, Whidbey Island deployed for a fifth Mediterranean Deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). During this deployment, the ship participated in Exercises Atlas Hinge, Odysseus 95, Noble Shirley, Bright Star and Alexander the Great, spending over three months in the Adriatic Sea in support of peacekeeping operations for the Dayton Peace Accords in the former Yugoslavia. The crew received the Armed Forces Service Medal and the NATO Medal, returning to homeport 29 February 1996. On 3 June 1996, Whidbey Island entered Norfolk Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (NORSHIPCO) for a Dry-docking Phased Maintenance Availability (DPMA) and received a Women at Sea Certification. On 1 July 1997, Whidbey Island departed for Unitas 38-97 setting a record for amphibious landings with several UNITAS participating nations before returning home 13 December 1997. 1999 – 2002 Whidbey Island departed for its sixth Mediterranean deployment 15 September 1999. Along with 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, Whidbey Island participated in Exercises Bright Star, Noble Shirley and Infinite Moonlight. During these exercises the ship worked in partnership with members of the British, Egyptian and Jordanian militaries. Whidbey Island safely transited the Suez Canal as well as the Straits of Tiran, Toranto, Gibraltar, and of Messina, visiting ports such as Antalya, Turkey; Haifa, Israel; Souda Bay, Greece; and Aqaba, Jordan. On 24 May 2000, Whidbey Island returned to NORSHIPCO for multiple upgrades and additions to the ship's configuration and systems. During this PMA period the ship received two Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) Launchers as well as the Ship's Self Defense System (SSDS) Mk-1, significantly enhancing Whidbey Island's ability to track, engage and destroy incoming missiles at close range. On 11 June 2001, Whidbey Island completed its Basic Phase of Training and started a five week pre-deployment maintenance period. Starting 11 July 2001 the ship began its intermediate training cycle in preparation for deployment as part of Amphibious Squadron 8, Amphibious Ready Group. On 19 September 2001, just eight days after the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, Whidbey Island weighed anchor for its seventh deployment. With troops of 26th MEU (Special Operations Capable), the ship participated in Exercise Bright Star off the coast of Egypt. At the completion of the exercise, crew and troops enjoyed a few days in the port of Marmaris, Turkey, before transiting the Suez Canal en route to the North Persian Gulf. While there Whidbey Island spent 123 consecutive days on station in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this operation, 26th MEU set the record for conducting the longest amphibious operation ever (distance-wise)—nearly 700 nautical miles (1300 km) inland. While deployed, Whidbey Island's crew visited Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Split, Croatia; and Rota, Spain. The ship also participated in the National Training Continuum, Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Swift Freedom. Most importantly, every Sailor and Marine that deployed on Whidbey Island came back safely from the grueling, seven-month deployment. 2002-2004 As of 2006, Whidbey Island is commanded by Commander Erik M. Ross, home ported at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, and assigned to Amphibious Group 2. 2006-2007 In June 2006, Whidbey Island deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While inport Aqaba, Jordan in July of 2006, she was recalled through the Suez Canal to support contingency operations due to the crisis in Lebanon. Whidbey Island subsequently participated in the largest Non-Combatant Evacuation conducted by the US Navy since Vietnam. During July and August, she evacuated 817 American Citizens (out of a total of 14,555 evacuated by the USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group) via Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) with Personnel Transport Module. AMCITS were taken to Limassol, Cyprus and released to State Department Control. Following operations off of Lebanon, Whidbey Island redeployed through the Suez Canal to the Fifth Fleet Operations Area and offloaded elements of the 24 MEU into Bahrain for operations in Iraq. Following the offload, Whidbey Island deployed to the Northern Persian Gulf in support of Commander Task Force 158, responsible as Afloat Forward Staging Base. In this role, she was responsible for defense of the KAAOT and ABOT oil rigs, the primary critical oil infrastructure producing revenue for Iraq. In November of 2006, Whidbey Island departed the Northern Persian Gulf and returned home, stopping in Civitavecchia, Italy and Tunis, Tunisia enroute, arriving 6 Dec, 06. On 16 February 2007, Whidbey Island was awarded the 2006 Battle "E" award. On 1 October 2007, Whidbey Island deployed from Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base. After being deployed to the Horn of Africa, she assisted the Comoran vessel MV Al Marjan and its crew when they were released by somali pirates on november third FACTS ABOUT THE USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41) Builder: Lockheed Shipbuilding, Seattle, Wa. Date Deployed: Feb. 9, 1985 Propulsion: Four Colt Industries, 16 Cylinder Diesels, two shafts, 33,000 shaft horsepower. Length: 609 feet (185.6 meters). Beam: 84 feet. Displacement: 15,939 tons (16,194.79 metric tons) full load. Speed: 20+ knots (23.5+ miles per hour). Crew: Ships Company: 22 officers, 300 enlisted; Marine Detachment: 402 plus 102 surge. Armament: Two 25mm MK 38 Machine Guns; Two 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts and Six .50 cal. machine guns, two Rolling Airfram Missile (RAM) Mounts.

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