Friday, February 29, 2008

Navy to Christen Amphibious Transport Dock Ship New York

The amphibious transport dock ship New York (LPD 21) is under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. It is the fifth ship to be built in the San Antonio-class of amphibious ships. The bow stem is made of steel from the World Trade Centers and weighs 7.5 metric tons. New York is scheduled to be commissioned in the fall of 2008. (U.S. photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Santos Huante)

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy will christen the newest San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship New York (LPD 21) at 10 a.m. CST on March 1, 2008, during a ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding facilities in New Orleans.

The ship is named New York in honor of the state, the city and the victims 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 official motto of New York is: "Never Forget."

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.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England will deliver the ceremony's principal address. His wife, Mrs. Dotty England is serving as the ship's sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted in the time-honored Navy tradition when she will break a bottle of champagne across the ship's bow to formally christen the ship.

Designated LPD 21, New York is the fifth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. As an element of future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support the Marine Corps "mobility triad," which consists of the landing craft air cushion vehicle (LCAC), the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). New York will support amphibious, special operations and expeditionary warfare missions.

Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones, of Binghamton, N.Y., is the ship's first commanding officer and will lead a crew of 360 officers and enlisted Navy personnel and three Marines. The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines.

Built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, New York is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, a navigational draft of 23 feet and displaces approximately 24,900 tons. Four turbo-charged diesels power the ship to sustained speeds of 24 knots. Upon commissioning in 2009, New York will be homeported in Norfolk, Va., as a part of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.