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Lead ship of the next class of LHA’s:

Navy Names New Amphibious Assault Ship America

The Navy’s newest class of large-deck amphibious assault ship, LHA 6, will bear the name USS America, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced while speaking at the USS America Carrier Veterans Association reunion in Jacksonville, Fla.

This ship will inherit a proud tradition, explained Winter. From the American Revolution through the first Gulf War, three warships have sailed with the name America.

“To serve in a ship named after our country adds to the pride one feels in being part of the Navy, and adds to the feeling that when America pulls into port, there is no more powerful symbol of the power, the ideals, and the greatness of the United States of America,” said Winter.

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LHA 6 will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name America. The first America, a 74-gun ship-of-the-line, was the first built for use by the Continental Navy. However, before having a chance to serve the fledgling U.S. Navy, the ship was presented as a gift to the king of France to show appreciation for his country’s service to the new nation. The second USS America (ID-3006) was later the name given to a troop transport used during World War I. The third was a Kitty-Hawk class aircraft carrier (CV 66) in commission from 1965 to 1996. Among other notable accomplishments, the carrier America made three deployments to Vietnam and launched air strikes on Iraq during the opening days of Operation Desert Storm.

The newest America will provide presence and power projection as an integral part of joint and multinational maritime expeditionary forces. The ship will support Marine Corps aviation requirements across a wide spectrum of operations, from small-scale contingency operations as the centerpiece of a forward-deployed expeditionary strike group, to forcible entry missions in a major theater war.

LHA 6 will replace the aging Tarawa-class and represents a conscious decision to increase the aviation capacity of future big deck amphibious ships in order to maximize the Navy’s investment in future aircraft.

LHA 6 will have an extended hangar deck with two higher hangar bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance. LHA 6 will also provide increased aviation fuel capacity, stowage for aviation parts and support equipment. LHA 6 will be able to embark and launch the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, cargo and attack helicopters, the AV-8B Harrier and the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant F-35B Lightning II Strike Fighter.

Winter explained the importance of the new America-class amphibious assault ship and the tremendous capability she will bring to the fleet.

“USS America is a wise investment in our nation’s security,” Winter said, “It will be a ship worthy of her illustrious namesake, and it will continue America’s long tradition of peace through strength.”

Winter also announced that the sponsor of the ship will be Lynne Pace, wife of former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace.

America is currently under contract at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2012.

9 Comments

  1. Just wondering… can we really call it an amphibious ship if it has no provisions for, um, amphibians?

  2. At least they didn’t put the name America on one of those awful LCS boondoogles like they did with Independence. What a shame.

    I’m glad to see the America name back in circulation. I’d like to see all of the class carry the great names of the old carriers, before we started naming them after idiotic politicians. The Brits had much better names for their carriers: Victorious, Majestic, Ark Royal, Formidable, Illustrious, etc.

  3. David P

    How can i buy a ball cap from the ship?

  4. James D Waddle

    👿 In just reading the info on the new US America, I am thoroughly incensed that the next ship to bear the name America will not be a deserving carrier, but an assault ship! It’s not bad enough that my former squadron VF-102 was uprooted and transferred to Atsugi Japan, but the carrier we proudly served on will have her name transferred to a ship primarily used to support Marine attack planes. This is a slap in the face of any sailor who ever served on the America. Why name a carrier after a bumbling President or a Senator nobody ever heard of? Gerald Ford did not deserve a carrier in his name, and John C Stennis is a name I have never before heard of. George HW Bush?? Please! The proud tradition of The America deserves better than an LHA, and I will be forever sad that a dream I had for so long will never be realized, as all who served on her should be.

  5. Gregory Stanley

    I am with you Waddle. America deserved better. she should have been a new America class carrier along with Enterprize. what were these people thinking of with a LHA support ship. America was a flag ship in the 6th fleet. she carried an Admiral aboard. she represented the United States. my heart and spirit lies on the ocean floor never to rise again to the light. where will the future lie for the name America? I served 4.6 years on the America V-1 Division. I held all positions and was a Director on the flight deck.
    Respectfully: Greg Stanley

  6. I also agree with you Waddle. I am an America Vet myself and I was involved deeply in the both the attempt to get her and set her up as a museum, and then, as co-chair of the attempt to get CVN78 named USS America.

    We were very close when at the last minute Senator’s Levin and Warner (both on Gerald Ford’s staff when he was President) insisted through a “Sense of Congress” that CVN78 should be named Gerald Ford. What was the SECNAV to do when Congress owns the purse strings!

    Anyway, this is going to be a great ship regardless of the well-deck argument. I toured her construction four weeks ago in Pascagoula and you can see my report at http://www.USSAmerica.org.

    Bottomline, in line with the low approval ratings citizens have of our Congress, the miserable politicians have hijacked the naming process and all the “big-girls” continue to be named after political buddies, henchmen and mentors.

    Sad fact of life.

    T

  7. Wharf Rat

    I agree -CVN 78 should have been named America, but at least know this, PCU – America is a powerful ship in her own light, and this is not an insignificant ship. I think this was a great 2nd choice. She will be a capitol ship in our navy, maybe not a super carrier, but no question when she shows up – our enemies will listen.

    It would be unlikely to get CVN 79 named America, as there is a petition to have that ship named Enterprise. So, while again, this wasn’t my first choice, nor the Carrier Veterans Association of USS America CV 66, this was a great 2nd choice.

  8. Mark Sowell

    I am hoping that I will have the opportunity to become a plankowner on such a great ship and great namesake. I wish that I had more details on the ship crewing up.

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