Newest Amphibious Warship Continues Along Route to Homeport
The U.S. Navy’s newest amphibious warship USS America (LHA 6) arrived in Valparaiso, Chile for her fifth port visit on her maiden transit, en route to her homeport in San Diego, California.
During the visit, Sailors and Marines assigned to the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) South will conduct bilateral exercises with the Chilean Navy. America will also offer ship tours and host Chilean guests and distinguished officials aboard the ship, working to strengthen partnerships within the 4th Fleet area of responsibility.
While successfully working to strengthen relationships with South American allies, USS America is also preparing for the arrival of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
USS America, the first in a series of 11 planned America-class amphibs, is built with more deck space than previous ships of its kind in order to accommodate a range of aircraft — including MV-22 Ospreys and the F-35B Short-Take-Off-and-Landing Joint Strike Fighter.
The ship is currently transiting around the coast of South America conducting joint training exercises with a host of key allies and embarked U.S. Marine units that immediately began amphibious operations, only days after departing Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Prior to arriving in Chile, USS America transited the Strait of Magellan, where Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus embarked the ship, and made port visits in Brazil, Cuba, and Colombia.
Read more about America’s port visit in Chile: http://1.usa.gov/1qprIE5
Read more about America’s F-35B aviation capabilities: http://bit.ly/1leJtGb
Amphibious Warships: “Swiss Army Knife” of the U.S. Navy Fleet
In December 2013, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General James Amos referred to San Antonio-class amphibious warships as the “Swiss Army Knife” of all naval ships, highlighting the ships’ unique capabilities which allow them to successfully carry out humanitarian and combatant missions anywhere in the world and on short notice.
The Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition (AWIBC) produced an infographic, inspired by the remarks from General Amos, illustrating why U.S. Navy amphibious warships are the “Swiss Army Knife” of the U.S. Navy’s fleet. Each blade of the “Swiss Army Knife” represents a unique capability that makes amphibious warships the “most utilitarian” of U.S. Navy warships and vital to the U.S. Navy fleet.
Amphibious warships have unique capabilities vital to the success of the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team’s mission. Specifically engineered to sail into harm’s way, U.S. Navy amphibious warships are built for survivability, with electric and mechanical systems that are shock hardened for blast survivability. These warships have the facilities on board to store and perform the necessary maintenance on helicopters and aircraft, such as the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
Amphibious warships have wide band secure satellite communications, which gives them command and control capabilities, allowing them to embark an amphibious squadron or expeditionary strike group for a wide range of missions.
See the full infographic here: http://bit.ly/1pFppMS
- Camera: Nikon D4
- Apeture: f/6.3
- Exposure: 1/500th
- Focal: 12mm
Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) Sailors with Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted an emergency evacuation of 11 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers. The researchers, who were located in the Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument, needed assistance in getting out of potential danger from Hurricane Iselle which was expected to hit the Hawaiian Islands.
Utilizing the unique capabilities of U.S. Navy amphibious warships, the Makin Island ARG, comprised of USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS San Diego (LPD 22), deployed rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) to the coastline to retrieve the researchers quickly and safely.
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 11th MEU had arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), immediately prior to the emergency evacuation mission. U.S. Navy amphibious warships USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), and USS San Diego (LPD 22) departed their homeport of San Diego, Calif for deployment in support of the Navy’s maritime strategy last month. This is USS San Diego’s maiden deployment.
Read more on Makin Island ARG’s emergency evacuation: http://1.usa.gov/1ui6ScN
Amphibious Warships Illustrate Unique Capabilities in Prominent Missions
U.S. Navy amphibious warships are unique vessels called upon to perform a wide range of missions. They launch Marines and their equipment during amphibious operations and provide relief in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as USS Bataan’s work off the coast of Haiti. Sometimes they perform very specialized tasks, as seen this week, when USS Anchorage (LPD 23) recovered NASA’s Orion capsule. General James Amos, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, referred to the San Antonio-class amphibious warships as the “Swiss Army Knife” of all naval ships capturing the ships’ unique capabilities to successfully carry out humanitarian and combatant missions.
Amphibious warships have been called upon more than 80 times to respond to military and humanitarian crises around the globe.
U.S. Navy amphibious warship USS Bataan (LHD 5) was ordered to the Persian Gulf last month, with 1,000 Marines aboard, as part of the buildup of U.S. forces in the region to protect Americans and counter the threat to the Iraqi government from Islamic extremists. USS Bataan joined six other Navy warships in the Persian Gulf, including amphibious warship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19).
Amphibious warships have the most extensive medical facilities on board of all naval platforms, second only to U.S. Naval hospital ships, as well as water distillation capabilities, which allow them to aid in humanitarian and disaster relief operations. These capabilities were vital in April of 2014, when amphibious warship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) was sent to the site where a South Korean ferry sank carrying 477 people. Two MH-60 helicopters equipped with lifeboats were initially dispatched from the warship in order to conduct search and rescue operations within the assigned search area.
In March of 2011, utilizing her extensive aviation capabilities, U.S. Navy amphibious warship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) launched a quick reaction force rescue operation from the ship’s flight deck to rescue a U.S. Air Force pilot downed in Libya. Due to their fast reaction and wide-ranging capabilities, the Marines were able to conduct a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel mission to recover the pilot.
Amphibious warships, with their wide band secure satellite communications, have command and control capabilities, allowing them to embark an amphibious squadron or expeditionary strike group for a wide range of missions. For example, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) served as the central command center for all disaster recovery operations during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.
- Camera: Nikon D4
- Apeture: f/5.6
- Exposure: 1/2500th
- Focal: 28mm
Sailors from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and Navy divers assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 11, Mobile Diving and Salvage Company 11-7, participate in the second underway recovery test for the NASA Orion Program. This is the second at-sea testing for the Orion crew module using a well deck recovery method. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corey Green/Released)
Read about how NASA prepared for the recovery test.
Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group Deploys
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), comprised of USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS San Diego (LPD 22), USS Comstock (LSD 45) and nearly 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed San Diego for deployment in support of the Navy’s maritime strategy. This will serve as amphibious warship USS San Diego’s maiden deployment.
While deployed, the ARG and MEU team will serve as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations. “These last couple of months the Makin Island ARG has taken on many challenges during this training cycle and have successfully passed every evolution with flying colors,” said Capt. Vic Cooper, the commander of Amphibious Squadron 5.
USS Makin Island (LHD 8) was the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system, earning the nickname the “Prius of the seas.” By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects over the course of the ship’s lifecycle, to see fuel savings of more than $250 million, proving the Navy’s commitment to energy awareness and conservation by reducing the use of fossil fuels. The recently deployed amphibious warship, USS America (LHA 6), has an identical propulsion system.
Read more about the Makin Island ARG’s deployment: http://1.usa.gov/1nC0msZ