From June to December 1991 Wasp was deployed to the Mediterranean.
From February to August 1993, the took part in Operation Restore/Continue Hope off Somalia. On April 20, 1993, while operating off Somalia, the ship's keel and propeller were scraped on a charted reef about three and a half miles offshore but was able to continue its assigned mission. Following this incident, the commanding officer and navigator were relieved.
From May to August 1993 Wasp conducted counter-drug operations in the Caribbean. The following May, the ship took part in Operation Support Democracy until July 1994 when that operation became Uphold Democracy. Then, it participated in the NATO exercise, Strong Resolve, from February to April 1995, during which time, on March 29, Wasp collided with Seattle (AOE-3) while returning from the exercise. The resulting damage proved minor.
Wasp conducted a Mediterranean deployment from August 1995 to February 1996.
In June 1998 the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked aviation elements from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) special operations capable (SOC) was deployed to the Adriatic Sea for Exercise Determined Falcon and NATO’s demonstration of support for the Kosovo cease fire.
On 22 February 2002 the Wasp ARG -- Wasp, Trenton (LPD 14), and Oak Hill (LSD 51) -- with the embarked 22nd MEU/SOC deployed from Hampton Roads in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Wasp ARG steamed nearly 95,000 miles during their deployment. Along the way, the ships of the ARG participated in Operation Sea Eagle in the Gulf of Aden and numerous multi-national exercises, in addition to making a variety of port visits including Souda Bay, Crete; Kingdom of Bahrain; and Rota, Spain, before returning to their respective homeports on 30 August.
On 17 February 2004 the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 -- Wasp, Shreveport (LPD-12), Whidbey Island (LSD-41), guided missile cruisers Leyte Gulf (CG-55) and USS Yorktown (CG 48), guided missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74), and attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) -- deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Global War on Terrorism. The embarked marines of the 22nd MEU based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, conducted combat operations in Afghanistan. While other constituents of ESG-2 returned to their respective home ports earlier, Wasp returned to Naval Station Norfolk on Sept. 18, 2004.
In mid-July 2006 a crisis developed from the confrontation between Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. On August 25 Wasp undertook a surge deployment from Norfolk Naval Station to support Joint Task Force (JTF) Lebanon. Wasp arrived off the coast of Lebanon on September 6 and became the command platform for the maritime component commander of JTF Lebanon. Tactical units remained in the joint area of operations to coordinate activities for air, land, and sea support to the American embassy in Beirut. On Oct. 12, 2006 Wasp made a port visit to Reykjavik, Iceland after her deployment as part of JTF Lebanon.
On Sept. 4, 2007 Hurricane Felix made landfall in Nicaragua. On Sept. 5, 2007 Wasp diverted from her participation in the PANAMAX 2007 Exercise and off-loaded multinational personnel from the exercise in Panama and deployed to the waters off Nicaragua in order to provide disaster relief/humanitarian assistance to hurricane survivors. Also embarked in Wasp was Commander Task Group (TG) 40.0 along with officers from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. This joint command cell coordinated relief efforts with the lead U.S. federal agency for this effort, the United States Agency for International Development and its Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. TG 40.0 also coordinated with local Nicaraguan authorities and the U.S. Military Group Commander in Nicaragua. On September 7, Wasp began aerial delivery of relief supplies, efforts later continued from guided missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).
On Jan. 13, 2011 Wasp moved to BAE Systems Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, for scheduled Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA). That period of work ended on April 27 and Wasp then conducted sea trials that ended on May 2.
On Aug. 12, 2013 two F-35B Lightning II jets (BF-01 and BF-05) touched down on board Wasp to initiate a week of Development Testing II where Wasp Sailors and the Integrated Test Force team members evaluated the F-35B. Wasp and the ITF completed a major milestone when Lt. Col. C. R. Clift launched from the flight deck and landed safely, marking the first successful night launch and recovery of the F-35B at sea.
Wasp completed a pre-deployment overhaul in 2017 and subsequently departed Norfolk on August 30 to deploy to Sasebo, Japan to relieve USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F). This change of homeport was part of an effort to place the most advanced capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. A few days later, while en route, the ship was diverted to the Caribbean to assist the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The amphibious assault ship then provided assistance to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. In support of relief efforts, Wasp’s aircraft flew 108 missions on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico totaling 385 hours of flight time moving 1,129 total passengers along with 26,720 pounds of equipment and 1,718,200 pounds of various logistical support items, including 328,100 pounds of food and water. Resuming passage to Sasebo, the ship arrived on Jan. 14, 2018.
Wasp departed Sasebo on March 3, 2018 for a routine patrol in the Indo-Pacific. While underway two days later, on March 5, a detachment of F-35B Lightning II's with Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 arrived on board Wasp March 5, marking the first time the aircraft had deployed aboard a U.S. Navy ship and with a MEU in the Indo-Pacific, concluding the testing and shipboard structural modifications begun in 2013. The F-35Bs, capable of conducting precision strikes inland, supporting Marine units ashore, or providing air defense for the ESG, were assigned to the Okinawa-based 31st MEU. Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, ESG 7, remarked that: "Pairing F-35B Lightning II's with Wasp represents one of the most significant :leaps in warfighting capability for the Navy-Marine Corps team in our lifetime." and that "This 5th generation stealth jet is extremely versatile and will greatly enhance and expand our operational capabilities." The aircraft and the 2,300 Marines of the 31st MEU were deployed on board the ships of the ESG for follow-on operations in the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen regional alliances, provide rapid-response capability, and advance the 'Up-Gunned ESG' concept initiated by the Pacific Fleet. This change was made to provide increased lethality and survivability to a traditional three-ship amphibious ready group with the integration into amphibious operations. The combined capabilities of the multi-mission surface combatants and F-35B was intended to enable the amphibious force to defend against threats in the undersea, surface and air domains more effectively while also providing offensive firepower to strike from the sea. Col. Tye R. Wallace, USMC, 31st MEU commanding officer, called the deployment of the aircraft “historic.” He noted that, “The F-35B is the most capable aircraft ever to support a Marine rifleman on the ground. It brings a range of new capabilities to the MEU that make us a more lethal and effective Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF)." Capt. Colby Howard, Wasp’s commanding officer, added: "Deployment of the versatile F-35B enhances the full range of Expeditionary Strike Group capabilities with one of the world's most technologically-advanced air warfare platforms."