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USS Tripoli Quietly Leaves on Maiden Deployment

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THE PENTAGON — Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) departed Naval Station San Diego, Calif., on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific on Monday, USNI News has learned.

The 45,000-ton big-deck amphibious ship left San Diego to gather F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters that will include further testing of the Marine’s “lightning carrier” concept, a defense official confirmed to USNI News. The lightning carrier can load up to 20 of the short take-off, vertically landing F-35s as an adjunct capability to a carrier strike group, USNI News understands.

A U.S. 3rd Fleet spokesman confirmed to USNI News the big-deck left San Diego on Monday, but did not provide additional details on the deployment.

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