The U.S. Navy commissioned the amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26), Saturday, October 8, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.
The ship is named in honor of John P. Murtha, who served his country both as a Marine and in the halls of congress. Murtha served in the Marine Corps for 37 years and saw service in the Korean War and in Vietnam, a tour that earned him the Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Murtha represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 until his death in 2010.
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Donna Murtha, daughter of the former congressman and the ship’s sponsor, gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life!» in accordance with naval tradition.
«This ship honors a man who dedicated his entire adult life to service – service as a Marine and as a member of Congress. This dedication to service will live on in the USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) as it serves as a symbol of all Chairman Murtha believed in», said the Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the U.S. Navy. «This ceremony also represents the dedication to service demonstrated by the men and women who have worked so diligently in building this ship and their efforts will help us to continue to grow the fleet to more than 300 ships by the end of this decade».
Designated LPD-26, John P. Murtha is the tenth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. These versatile ships incorporate both a flight deck to accommodate CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, as well as a well deck that can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles. The San Antonio class’s increased vehicle space and substantial cargo carrying capacity make it a key element of 21st century amphibious ready groups, expeditionary strike groups, and joint task forces.
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) 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. The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 669 troops and a surge capacity of up to 800.
The ship will be crewed by 381 officers, enlisted personnel and Marines. The 24,900-ton USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) was built at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship is 684 feet/208 m in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet/32 m, and a navigational draft of 23 feet/7 m. Four turbo-charged diesel engines power the ship to sustained speeds of 22 knots/24.2 mph/38.7 km/h.
|Builder||Huntington Ingalls Industries|
|Propulsion||Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower|
|Length||684 feet/208 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: 374 Sailors (28 officers, 346 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800|
|Armament||Two Bushmaster II 30-mm Close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 calibre/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 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1 or UH-1 helicopters|
|Landing/Attack Craft||Two LCACs or one LCU; and 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles/Amphibious Assault Vehicles|
|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|
|USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28)||Ingalls|