Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Navy Set to Commission Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS New York

NEW YORK (Nov. 2, 2009) Marines assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 26 and sailors assigned to the amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New York (LPD 21) man the rails as the ship arrives in New York. The ship has 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow and will be commissioned Nov. 7 in New York City. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jesse Johnson.)

Focus on Defense:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2009 -- The Navy will commission the newest San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship New York (LPD 21), during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony Nov. 7, 2009, in New York City.

The ship is named New York in honor of the state and the courage and heroism of New Yorkers during and after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. A unique characteristic of the ship is the use of 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center wreckage that was incorporated into the construction process. The steel was melted and formed to make the bow stem of the ship. Use of this steel symbolizes the spirit and resiliency of the people of New York. The ship's motto is "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, will also deliver remarks. Dotty England, wife of former secretary of the Navy and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, is serving as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

Designated as LPD 21, New York is the fifth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. Four previous ships have been named New York. The first, a gondola that served in 1776; the second, a frigate that served 1800-1814; the third, an armored cruiser that served 1893-1938; and the fourth, a battleship that served 1914-1946.

As a critical element in future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support the Marine Corps' "mobility triad," which consists of the landing craft air cushion (LCAC), the expeditionary fighting vehicle (EFV) and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). The ship will provide improved warfighting capabilities including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features.

Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones, a native of Binghamton, N.Y., is the first commanding officer of the ship, leading a crew of approximately 360 officers and enlisted personnel. The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines. Upon commissioning, New York will be homeported in Norfolk, Va., as a part of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Avondale Operations in Louisiana, New York is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, a navigational draft of 23 feet and displaces about 24,900 tons. Four turbo-charged diesel engines power the ship to sustained speeds of 24 knots.

(Report from a U.S. Defense Department news release.)

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