Christening of McCool

The U.S. Navy christened its newest amphibious transport dock, the future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29), during a 9 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, June 11, at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Division shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29)
U.S. Navy christened Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29)

The principal speaker is Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy Erik Raven. Additional speakers include Lieutenant General David Bellon, commander, United States Marine Corps Reserve and Marine Corps Forces, South; Vice Admiral Randy Crites, deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources; and Ms. Kari Wilkinson, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding. In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsors and granddaughters of its namesake, Shana McCool and Kate Oja, christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

The ship is named in honor of Navy veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, retired Captain Richard Miles McCool, Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor for the heroism he displayed June 10 and 11, 1945, in coordinating damage control and rescue operations after a series of Japanese kamikaze aircraft attacks during the Battle of Okinawa. On June 10, 1945, his leadership efforts greatly assisted in evacuating survivors from a sinking destroyer. After his ship was struck by a kamikaze June 11, 1945, then Lieutenant McCool, Jr., despite suffering from shrapnel wounds and painful burns, led vigorous damage control efforts to save his ship from destruction and personally rescue Sailors trapped in blazing compartments. McCool passed away on March 5, 2008.

«We christen the future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29), recognizing a Medal of Honor awardee and true American hero for his unwavering devotion to duty and service to our country», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. «This historic occasion brings us one step closer to ‘manning the rails’ with the men and women who will carry on the proud naval tradition of defending our nation and working towards a more peaceful world».

The future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29) is the 13th San Antonio-class ship, designed to support embarking, transporting, and bringing elements of 650 Marines ashore by landing craft or air-cushion vehicles. A flight deck hangar further enhances the ship’s capabilities, which can support the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22).

San Antonio-class ships can support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups, or joint task forces. These capabilities allow the U.S. Navy to protect America’s security abroad and promote regional stability and preserve future peace.

 

Ship Facts and Characteristics

Propulsion Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower/31,021 kW
Length 684 feet/208.5 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Displacement Approximately 24,900 long tons/25,300 metric tons full load
Draft 23 feet/7 m
Speed In excess of 22 knots/24.2 mph/38.7 km/h
Crew Ship’s Company: 380 Sailors (29 officers, 351 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800
Armament Two Mk-46 30-mm close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 caliber/12.7-mm machine guns
Aircraft Launch or land two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four AH-1 Cobra or UH-1Y Venom helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) or one Landing Craft Utility (LCU); and 14 Amphibious Assault Vehicles

 

San Antonio-class

 

Flight I

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) Avondale 07-12-2003 01-14-2006 Norfolk, Virginia
USS New Orleans (LPD-18) Avondale 12-11-2004 03-10-2007 San Diego, California
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) Ingalls 11-19-2004 12-15-2007 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Green Bay (LPD-20) Avondale 08-11-2006 01-24-2009 San Diego, California
USS New York (LPD-21) Avondale 12-19-2007 11-07-2009 Norfolk, Virginia
USS San Diego (LPD-22) Ingalls 05-07-2010 05-19-2012 San Diego, California
USS Anchorage (LPD-23) Avondale 02-12-2011 05-04-2013 San Diego, California
USS Arlington (LPD-24) Ingalls 11-23-2010 02-08-2013 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Somerset (LPD-25) Avondale 04-14-2012 05-01-2014 San Diego, California
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Ingalls 11-02-2014 10-08-2016 San Diego, California
USS Portland (LPD-27) Ingalls 02-13-2016 12-14-2017 San Diego, California
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) Ingalls 03-28-2020
USS Richard M. McCool (LPD-29) Ingalls 01-05-2022

 

Flight II

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Harrisburg (LPD-30) Ingalls
USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31) Ingalls