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A starboard quarter view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

An elevated port quarter view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A starboard bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A starboard quarter view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A stern view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A port bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A starboard bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A port quarter view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A port beam view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

An elevated stern view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A port bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A view of a section of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard located on the Elizabeth River. On the left; a starboard bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) in overhaul and to the right a port quarter view of the decommissioned submarine tender ORION (AS-18) being prepared for mothball fleet storage

Aerial view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) tied up on the south side of pier #11 at the Norfolk Naval Base. The fast combat support ship USS ARCTIC (AOE-8) is tied up on the north side of the pier

A US Navy (USN) landing craft air cushion (LCAC) returns to the USN Wasp class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) operating off the coast of Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, during Joint Task Force (JTF) Exercise 99-1 (JTFEX99-1)

A US Navy (USN) Color Guard and USN Sailors from the USN Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) march at a parade during Boston Harborfest 2006. The KEARSARGE is in Boston to participate in the Fourth of July celebration here which is attended by more than two million people annually

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (NC), practice reloading drills aboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

US Marine Corps (USMC) Corporal (CPL) Eugene Faiellav (left), listens to instructions for a reloading drill from USMC CPL Ben Christiansen, both are Rifleman (0311) Marines, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (NC), deployed with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB). They are onboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

Using his 5.56 mm M16A2 rifle, US Marine Corps (USMC) Private (PVT) Dennis Douds, Rifleman (0311) Marines, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (NC), practices snapping in (quickly acquiring the target) with night vision goggles. He is on aboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

A view from the bridge of the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) as the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) battle group passes through the Straits of Gibraltar during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

In the Metal Shop aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), U.S. Marine Pfc. Thomas Madziarek welds a crate.

Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Harold Brent turns a feed water check valve.

LCAC returns to ship.

In the well deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Marines assigned to the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB) embark Assault Craft Unit 4 (ACU-4) Hopper 68.

While at sea aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Signalman Seaman Gary James conducts training with an AN/KAS-1A Chemical Warfare Directional Detector (CWDD) at a general quarters station on the ship�s signal bridge

CIWS Preventative Maintenance at sea.

Aviation Boatswain�s Mate Airman Donnie Hughes checks for abrasions on a clean fuel purifier

CIWS Preventative Maintenance at sea.

Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) craft on approach to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Engineman 3rd Class Conary Beckford performs checks on a Diesel Rack Alignment aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

LCpl Adam Hadjis passes Postal Clerk 3rd Class Brian Etcheson a package while sorting in coming mail in the Lower Vehicle Stowage aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) craft approach the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

A Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) craft on approach to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

An CH-53 Sea Stallion makes its approach for a landing on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

An CH-53 Sea Stallion Crew Chief completes safety checks prior to take-off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

Gunner�s Mate 1st Class Edward Butcher gives 9mm handgun training

Aviation Boatswain�s Mate 2nd Class Andre Wesley supervises Air department Sailors as they clean the hangar bay of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Sailors and Marines participate in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the hangar bay aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Fireman Charles Phillips makes his escape through an emergency escape trunk.

Fireman Charles Phillips uses an Emergency Escape Breathing Device (EEBD) as he climbs up the emergence escape trunk while conducting a main machinery space fire drill.

A wash down for deployed helicopters as well as the flight deck is in order after the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

The Engineering Training Team (ETT) instructor provides feedback to watch standers in one of the main machinery spaces aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Medical personnel attend to patients in one of the medical triage rooms aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Medical personnel aboard and stretcher-bearers attend to simulated casualties during a Mass Casualty training exercises aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Medical personnel aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), along with embarked Fleet Surgical Team Eight personnel participate in a Mass Casualty training exercises

Deck Department personnel observe the night launch of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3

Deck Department personnel prepare for a night launch of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

On the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) aircrew and flight deck personnel prepare for daily combat re-supply missions into Southern Iraq

A U.S. Marine Aviator carries his flight gear to a CH-53E Super Stallion on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) in preparation for on going combat re-supply missions in Southern Iraq

Marine Aviation Maintenance Mechanics complete pre-flight checks on a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter prior to a flight aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

A CH-53E 'Super Stallion' helicopter pilot, prepares his flight gear aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Dan Salazar from Orlando, Fla., cheers on Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Glenn Baxter during a Tug-of-War contest

Sailors from Deck Department take part in a Deck Seamanship Olympics

Chief Boatswain�s Mates Kelvin Dickey (left) and Chief Petty Officer George Gainey square off in a knot-tying contest

Sailors from Deck Department take part in a Deck Seamanship Olympics

Yeoman 2nd Class Christopher Chatman from Baton Rouge, La., leads the ship�s Administrative Office Tug-of-War team

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducting combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducting combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducting combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Terry Scott takes a question.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Terry Scott talks with sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Marines return to the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) from Iraq

A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Marine Heavy Helicopters Squadron Four Sixty Four (HMH-464) lands on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Machinist�s Mate 3rd Class Daniel Griffin wipes down Halon 1301 bottles in the aft main machinery room aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

Electrician�s Mate Fireman Travis O�Leary checks an outlet for power aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2nd MEB) prepare to board a helicopter to return to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Machinist�s Mate 3rd Class John Decasper pours hydraulic fluid into a diesel engine

Onboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) 5.56 mm M16A2 rifles and helmets are displayed during the Memorial Day ceremony in tribute to the 23 USMC Marines of Task Force Tarawa who died during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

US Marine Corps (USMC) Brigadier General (BGEN) Richard F. Natonski, Commander, Task Force Tarawa, speaks to the USMC Marines and US Navy (USN) Sailors of the USN Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) at the Memorial Day ceremony paying tribute to the 23 USMC Marines of Task Force Tarawa who died during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines (2/8), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (NC), enjoy a couple of beverages during the steel beach picnic aboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3). The USMC Marines of 2/8 are currently on their way home from Iraq after serving in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM as part of Task Force Tarawa

USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) steams in the Gulf of Aqaba

President George W. Bush congratulates Capt. Terence E. McKnight, Commanding Officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) for the support received from the officers and crew of the amphibious assault ship

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducts a vertical replenishment with Military Sealift Command combat stores ship USNS Spica (T-AFS 9)

An AH-1W Cobra stands by to be launched if needed, as the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) passes through the Strait of Gibraltar

Staff Sgt. Patrick Knapp from Toledo, Ohio assigned to 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment (3/2) acts as line coach for Marines during a small arms shoot on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Staff Sgt. Anthony B. Varga from Phoenix, Ariz. assigned to 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment (3/2) instructs another Marine during a small arms shoot on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Marines assigned to 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment (3/2) participate in a small arms shoot on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Lance Cpl. Clint D. Parker participates in a small arms training exercise on the port elevator

Cpl. Edward L. Muenzler from Waco, Texas assigned to 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment (3/2) participates in a small arms shoot on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Lance Cpl. Clint D. Parker from Antioch, Tenn. assigned to 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment (3/2), participates in a small arms shoot on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Pfc. Conrad D. Carson from Dalton, Georgia assigned to 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment (3/2) awaits his turn to participate in a small arms shoot on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

A CH-46 Sea Knight from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eight (HC-8) picks up another load of supplies

Fire Controlman 3rd Class Jose Negron from Chicago, Ill., applies grease to a gun transfer unit

Crewmembers participate in a small arms shoot

CH-53E Super Stallions line the deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

US Marine Corps (USMC) Sergeant (SGT) Aumael Torres, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB), waves a small American Flag while he sits in a hangar onboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3), which is sailing back to the United States after participating in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, supporting President Bush while he attended a summit meeting with Arab Leaders in both Egypt and Jordan, and serving in Operation SHINING EXPRESS

Sailors and Marines man the rails aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) as they prepare for homecoming.

A Petty Officer assigned to Deck department aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) lowers one of the ship's mooring lines while the ship is brought along side Pier 9 of Naval Station Norfolk

A Petty Officer assigned to Deck department aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) signals line handlers on the pier while the ship is being moored at Naval Station Norfolk

The US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) is tied securely to the pier as it awaits the full force of Hurricane Isabel. The KEARSARGE is undergoing maintenance and unable to leave Norfolk with the other 40 Naval ships. Hurricane Isabel, currently a Category 2 hurricane, made landfall near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (NC), approximately 100 miles south of Norfolk

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Quemeka Hill conducts maintenance on a Central Processing Unit (CPU) in Computer Repair aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

A pilot from USS Detroit (AOE 4) checks the tail rotor on a MH-60S Knighthawk for safe flight while aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

Combat Cargo Department Marines from the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) connect a cargo harness to an MH-60S Knighthawk after delivering ammunition from USS Detroit (AOE 4).

Sailors assigned to the fast combat supply ship USS Detroit (AOE 4) hold onto a line while conducting an underway replenishment.

Aviation Boatswain�s Mates stand-by on the flight deck as part of an emergency response team during flight deck operations aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

Seaman Michael Lockwood stands watch aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

MH-60S Knighthawk�s deployed from USS Detroit (AOE 4) land aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

Two MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters takeoff during flight operations aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

U.S. Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) are briefed prior to being transported to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).