Monday, December 22, 2008

Keel Laid for Amphibious Ship Future USS Arlington

In this photo, the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) transits through the Suez Canal. The future USS Arlington (LPD-24), is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and is planned to be the third U.S. Navy ship to be named for Arlington, Virginia, the location of the The Pentagon. Like her sister ships, USS New York, and USS Somerset the ship is named in commemoration of the attacks on September 11, 2001. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky.)

Focus on Defense:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding laid the keel for the future USS Arlington (LPD 24) during a Dec. 18 ceremony at its Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. The keel was authenticated by Ron Carlee, the county manager of Arlington, Va., who confirmed that the keel was layed "straight and true."

LPD 24, the eighth ship of the San Antonio class, was given the name Arlington to honor the 184 victims in the air and on the ground who lost their lives when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The ship also honors the military and civilian employees, emergency, fire and rescue personnel of Arlington County and surrounding communities who provided the critical assistance after the attack. LPD 21 (New York) and LPD 25 (Somerset) are also named in remembrance of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. USS Arlington is scheduled to deliver to the Navy in 2012.

LPDs or amphibious transport dock ships, are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked air cushion or conventional landing craft or amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft. These ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for expeditionary strike groups.

San Antonio class ships are approximately 684 feet in length, have a mixed gender crew of 360 Sailors, are able to support an embarked landing force of 699, and can support a surge force of up to 800 Marines.

The Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships is responsible for the development and acquisition of U.S. Navy surface ships, and is currently managing the design and construction of 11 major ship classes and a wide range of small boats and craft. These platforms range from major warships such as frontline surface combatants and amphibious assault ships to air-cushioned landing craft, oceanographic research ships and special warfare craft. Since its creation in November 2002, PEO Ships has delivered 27 major warships and hundreds of small boats and craft from more than 20 shipyards and boat builders across the United States.

(Report from a Program Executive Office Ships Public Affairs news release.)

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