USS NEW ORLEANS, At sea - Amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) departed Pearl Harbor Nov. 23 after a scheduled two-day port visit.
The visit was the first stop for the ship, which departed its homeport of San Diego, Nov. 14, for its current deployment in support of the nation's maritime strategy.
During the port call, Sailors and Marines participated in a variety of Hawaiian cultural activities.
For some Sailors aboard New Orleans, this was their first time in Hawaii.
"I've always wanted to come to Hawaii and I think this is a great way to start off deployment," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benoit Cisneros. "I enjoyed my stay, I went to a luau and met some great people and had good food. I plan on returning."
Cmdr. Dennis Jacko, commanding officer of New Orleans, stressed the importance about maintaining focus on the ship's deployment.
"There is nothing more sobering than coming into Pearl Harbor, passing the USS Arizona memorial, and understanding the consequences of a lack of preparedness," he said. "Our Sailors are focused, and ready to handle all challenges for this deployment."
New Orleans deployed Nov. 14 in support of the Navy's Maritime Strategy, along with the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and the dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), which make up the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
Commissioned in 2007, New Orleans is the second of the San Antonio-class transport dock ships. Its warfighting capabilities include a state-of-the-art command and control suite, substantially increased vehicle lift capacity, a large flight deck, and advanced ship survivability features that enhance its ability to operate in the littoral environment.
Under the control of Amphibious Squadron 5, the mission of the Makin Island ARG is to help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the nation's maritime strategy when forward deployed.