The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) transited the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Arabian Gulf Aug. 6.

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, and freedom of navigation is critical for all vessel movement in and out of the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, according to Master Chief Quartermaster Ryan F. Curylo, the ship’s leading quartermaster.

Essex’s navigation team was in a modified navigation detail while transiting and maintained a heightened level of navigation readiness while in close proximity to land and the other shipping traffic also transiting the Strait.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a dangerous evolution, but it is an area where Sailors aboard Essex need to have an escalated posture of readiness,” said Curylo. “It is a complex area with a lot of traffic and we need to ensure we abide by all conventions and rules of the sea.”

While still in San Diego, Essex conducted basic and advanced phase training to ensure they were ready to conduct this transit.

The Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (15th MEU), is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.