Rio de Janeiro, November 6, 2019 – The USS WASP visited Rio de Janeiro October 30-November 4 on her way home to Norfolk, Virginia after being stationed in Japan since 2017. The visit was a testament to the strength of the friendship and partnership between Brazil and the United States, the two largest democracies in the Hemisphere. The WASP and members of her crew of 1,000 men and women exchanged expertise with Brazilian Navy counterparts about delivery of humanitarian assistance and search and rescue operations during their stop in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition, the WASP invited members of the Brazilian Navy Directorate of Personnel Management aboard to discuss female integration in the U.S. Navy. In 2023, the Brazilian Naval Academy will graduate its first class of female officers who will be eligible to apply for combat roles. Furthermore, in celebration of our alliance during World War II, the WASP’s captain invited the Brazilian Veterans Association aboard for a tour. They were honored to be joined by Second Lieutenant Melchisedech Alfonso de Carvalho, who conducted combat submarine operations in World War II.
While in Rio de Janeiro, the WASP continued the U.S. Navy’s tradition of community activities during port visits. In support of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates’ English-language learning program for students in public schools, the WASP invited 25 alumni of the Access English micro-scholarship program aboard for a behind-the-scenes tour in English. The ship also challenged players from Basquete Cruzada, an NGO that advances social inclusion through sports, to a game of horse and ran drills with the 25 teenage participants and representatives of Flamengo’s under-20 team in the ship’s hangar. On November 2, crewmembers of the USS WASP painted and waterproofed walls at the Lar Luz e Amor daycare center for parents who cannot afford childcare while working.
Captain Greg Baker, Charge d’Affaires William Popp, and Consul General Scott Hamilton hosted a reception onboard November 2 for representatives of the municipal and state governments of Rio de Janeiro, diplomatic corps, business community, educational institutions, civil society, and the press. “While challenges to freedom remain in our Hemisphere and throughout the world, the bonds between our two democracies continue to flourish,” said Charge d’Affaires William Popp in his remarks during the reception.
On November 4, the USS WASP departed Rio de Janeiro for Norfolk, Virginia.