The amphibious assault ship Wasp will soon say sayonara to Norfolk.
The big deck amphib will move to Sasebo, Japan, to join the Navy's forward deployed forces. It will take over for the Bonhomme Richard, which will return to San Diego for an overhaul, Fleet Forces Command said Monday.
FFC did not release a detailed timeline for the moves but said that it's expected in 2017.
The Wasp has been recently modernized to accommodate the Marine Corps version of the Joint Strike Fighter, which can operate from the gator's flight deck with short take-off and vertical landing capabilities.
The move of Wasp coincides the the Marine Corps' standing up of the first Japan-based F-35B squadron, the release said.
The Wasp left on its first major deployment in 11 years in June. It's AV-8B Harriers jump-jets and AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters began striking ISIS targets in Libya in August.
The shift, the release said, is a "part of the rebalance strategy to increase the Navy's presence in the Pacific Fleet," adding that specific timelines will be announced at a date closer to the movement of the ships.
During her recent yard work, Wasp also received upgrades to the combat systems suite to include the MK 2 Ship Self Defense System, SPQ-9B horizon search radar, MK 57 NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System, and upgrades to the shipboard local area network and data link capability.