PEARL HARBOR - The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU) arrived in Pearl Harbor, June 13, for a port visit.
The one-day visit is being used to receive supplies, pick up "Tigers" (civilian friends and family) who will ride the ship back to the ship's homeport of San Diego, and to afford an pportunity for the crew and embarked Marines to enjoy Oahu.
This is the ship's second visit to Pearl Harbor on this deployment. "Big Easy" visited Pearl Harbor in November at the beginning of their seven-and-a-half month deployment.
Cmdr. Dennis Jacko, commanding officer of USS New Orleans, has visited Pearl Harbor 10 times during his career and says he welcomes any opportunity to visit Hawaii.
"Every time I come here, I make every attempt to go to the Arizona Memorial, and I encourage my Sailors to make the most of exploring our naval heritage here," he said. "Standing on the memorial is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices those Sailors who went before us made across the war in the Pacific."
While the visit is short, two Sailors intend to recommit themselves to naval service by reenlisting at the USS Missouri museum, right next to the Arizona Memorial.
"I'm excited," said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Keith Mehle. "I really enjoyed our last time in Hawaii, and it's always nice to get a break from operations, even if it's just for one day."
New Orleans, along with the embarked 11th MEU, is part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, which is currently deployed to the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations.