Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1631 carries U.S. Marines to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex for assistance and transportation to Okinawa, Japan. LCU 1631 transported more than 900 stranded servicemembers, part of the III Marine Expeditionary Force, from Pohang, Republic of Korea, to the Essex. With the Marines’ transportation affected by Typhoon ‘Rusa’ and running low on supplies, Essex was dispatched from its forward-deployed port of Sasebo, Japan, to Pohang to assist the Marines, just finished participating in the joint-combined exercise "Ulchi Focus Lens 2002" with the Republic of Korea and United States Combined Forces Command. Essex is forward-deployed to Sasebo and LCU 1631 is attached to Assault Craft Unit One Western Pacific. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Gary B. Granger.