USS Wasp (LHD 1) is a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship. She is the tenth USN vessel to bear the name and was the flagship of the Second Fleet and the lead ship of her class. She was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Navy-Marine Corps team’s newest amphibious warship has as its primary mission the support of a Marine Landing Force. USS Wasp and her sister ships are the first specifically designed to accommodate new Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) for fast troop movement over the beach and Harrier II (AV-8B) Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) jets which provide close air support for the assault force. Wasp, which is 257 m long (843 ft) with a beam of 32 meters (105 ft), also accommodates the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.
Since 2004, in a period when all the rest of the USN’s flattops have been heavily tasked and often kept on lengthy deployments, the Wasp has never been on an extended deployment and the ship is currently assigned to JSF testing, which it will not be needed again until the summer of 2013.