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Defense Secretary Panetta To Visit San Diego Friday

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will visit the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu on Friday, the Pentagon announced today.

Panetta will ride on a hovercraft from Camp Pendleton to the ship, which will be just off the coast, according to Panetta spokesman Carl Woog.

While aboard, Panetta will speak at an "all-hands'' call, get a look at Harrier, Osprey and helicopter flight operations, visit the medical bay and have lunch with junior enlisted sailors and Marines.

Panetta is making ships like the San Diego-based Peleliu a priority in the defense budget, because they provide commanders with a way to get Marines and supplies ashore, Woog said.

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