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Sailor found dead aboard Norfolk-based USS Arlington

The U.S. Navy amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD-24) participates in training exercises with the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7). Iwo Jima was underway conducting amphibious integration exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shelby M. Tucker)

A sailor was found dead Tuesday aboard the Norfolk-based USS Arlington, according to the Navy’s Sixth Fleet.

The Arlington is an amphibious transport dock that deployed in December with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group.

Cmdr. Kyle Raines, a Sixth Fleet spokesman, said Wednesday that the sailor was found unresponsive and pronounced dead aboard the ship. Raines did not specify where the ship was when the sailor was discovered.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating. Raines said the name of the sailor and additional information won’t be released until 24 hours after next-of-kin are notified.

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Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander of the Sixth Fleet, visited the Arlington last week while it was moored at Naval Station Rota for a port visit.

On May 10, the Defense Department ordered the Arlington to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility as tensions with Iran mounted. The Arlington was scheduled to join the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and an Air Force bomber task force in the Middle East.

“The Department of Defense continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies. Due to operational security, we will not discuss timelines or location of forces,” the Defense Department said in a news release at the time.

“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend U.S. forces and interests in the region.”

The Arlington is carrying Marines, amphibious vehicles, aircraft and other equipment from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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© 2019 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.