Dec. 6 (UPI) -- USS America dropped anchor Friday at its new homeport in Sasebo, Japan.
The America, the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, came from San Diego to serve as flagship of 7th Fleet's Amphibious Squadron 11, and replace the USS Wasp, which spent a year and a half ported in Sasebo.
The America was designed to maximize the capabilities of the Marine Corp's F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings, allowing ships like the America to act as small aircraft carriers.
"We're looking forward to integrating America's flexible and adaptable fifth generation capabilities into theater to maintain peace and stability and contribute to the prosperity and security of the Indo-Pacific," said Capt. Luke Frost, America's commanding officer.
The U.S. 7th Fleet area spans 48 million square miles from the International Date Line to the Western Indian Ocean.
The docking of the America follows that of the USS New Orleans, which ported in Sasebo Tuesday and brings the number of amphibious ships docked in Sasebo to five.