The U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti, Thomas P. Kelly III, visited Marines and Sailors from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) in the Gulf of Aden, Feb. 12, 2015.
Kelly, who was appointed as the Ambassador to Djibouti in June 2014, began the visit with a flight to the ship aboard a 24th MEU MV-22B Osprey, and was met by a host of MEU, ARG and ship leadership, to include Col. Scott F. Benedict, commanding officer, 24th MEU.
Kelly was given a familiarization brief before joining Benedict and Navy Capt. Dana R. Gordon, commanding officer, USS Iwo Jima, on a tour of the ship.
The group proceeded to several different areas of the ship, such as the bridge, where the ship’s navigation takes place; the well deck, where amphibious landing craft are stored and launched; the medical and dental departments and the flag mess, where refreshments were served before an exchange of small gifts, which included an Iwo Jima baseball cap from the ship’s commander.
The 24th MEU and Iwo Jima ARG are deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
Image: US Navy