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Fleet's oldest amphib begins 7th Fleet deployment

Jan. 27, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
The amphibious transport dock Denver pulls away from the pier in Sasebo, Japan, on Monday, beginning its spring tour of 7th Fleet as part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group.
The amphibious transport dock Denver pulls away from the pier in Sasebo, Japan, on Monday, beginning its spring tour of 7th Fleet as part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group. (MC2 Adam D. Wainwright / Navy)
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The Navy’s second-oldest deployable warship — behind only the frigate Constitution — left Sasebo, Japan, on Monday for its spring 7th Fleet patrol.

The amphibious transport dock Denver, which was commissioned in 1968, also will take part in Cobra Gold, the annual U.S.-Thai naval exercise, the Navy said in a Monday news release. Some Denver sailors will cross-deck with their Thai counterparts, allowing for an exchange of at-sea protocols.

“It’s an older ship so we face different problems than other vessels in the fleet, but when it’s time to get underway we are always up for the challenge,” Operations Specialist 1st Class Jamie Dixon, assigned to the Denver, said in the release.

The ship will deploy as a member of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, according to the Navy release.

Denver is the only Austin-class amphib left in service; the rest of the Navy’s LPD fleet is made up of San Antonio-class warships. The Ponce, the last of the Austin-class vessels to be commissioned, was reclassified as an afloat forward staging base in 2012.

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