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USS Peleliu Departs San Diego Tuesday For Deployment To Western Pacific

USS Peleliu
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Above: USS Peleliu

The USS Peleliu is slated to depart Naval Base San Diego on Tuesday for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific.

Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs reports the Peleliu will take part in the biennial multinational naval exercise known as Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the largest international maritime exercise in the world.

RIMPAC is scheduled to take place from June 26 to August 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

For the first time in RIMPAC's history, China will participate. Peking University political scientist Wang Dong told HawaiiReporter.com that China's participation shows a "growing maturity" of the military ties the country has with the United States:

"Certainly there is a big substantive perception gap between China and the United States and its allies, and it is very important to narrow those perception gaps and I think the best way to do that is through communications and exchanges."

After RIMPAC, the Peleliu will continue with its deployment to the 7th Fleet Area of Responsiblity as part of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11.

Capt. Paul C. Spedero, Jr., Peleliu's commanding officer, said of the deployment:

"Peleliu is ready for all assigned missions and any possible mission that could arise. While forward deployed, we are prepared to handle contingencies that may arise from conducting operations to supporting humanitarian assistance/disaster response or delivering combat power ashore, when necessary."

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