The ship was transferred from the land level facility to the drydock, which was then flooded allowing her to float off the blocks.
"Every milestone in the construction of a ship is significant, but seeing the ship float out of drydock is visually one of my favorites," said Capt. Darren Plath, LPD 17 Class Program Manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. "I'm looking forward to sea trials, delivery and other exciting milestones."
The ships are designed to support embarking, transporting, and landing elements of over 800 Marines with both a flight deck which accommodates CH-53 helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and a well deck that can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles.
LPD 17 class ships are versatile players in maritime security with the ability to 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 (ESGs), or Joint Task Forces (JTFs). In addition to performing their primary mission, San Antonio class ships have supported anti-piracy operations, provided humanitarian assistance, and foreign disaster relief operations around the world.
Portland will be the 11th San Antonio class ship delivered by HII which is also currently in the final stages of production on the future John P Murtha (LPD 26).
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.