April 23 (UPI) -- The USS Iwo Jima arrived at Naval Station Rota, Spain, on Friday for mid-deployment repairs, a U.S. Navy statement said.
The amphibious assault ship and flagship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group recently transited the Atlantic Ocean to conduct interoperability exercises with the Navy's 2nd and 6th fleets, as well as the armed forces of Britain.
While traveling to Rota, the ship conducted a replenishment at sea, taking on about 320,000 gallons of fuel, 210,000 gallons of aircraft fuel and 244 pallets of food, repair parts and mail from the supply ship USNS Supply, the Navy said earlier this week.
"Interoperability and support with partner nations is vital to sustained operations at sea," said Capt. David Loo, the USS Iwo Jima's commanding officer.
"There are maintenance items and repairs that only become apparent once the ship goes underway. The MDVR [mid-deployment voyage repair] gives us an early opportunity to make those fixes and continue our mission at full strength, plus it allows the crew a timeout from watch stations in order to rest and refresh," Loo said.
The readiness group includes the USS Iwo Jima, the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio.
They carry helicopters, surgical units and construction units of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's embarked detachments, a total of about 4,300 personnel at sea.