The Navy announced Thursday that the future amphibious landing ship USS John P. Murtha will be home-ported at Naval Base San Diego following its commissioning in summer 2016.
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The 684-foot-long Murtha is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock is being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Stationing amphibious landing ships in a West Coast port supports the rebalance of U.S. military forces toward Asia, placing the most advanced vessels and greater capacity in the vital theater, according to the Navy. By 2020, roughly 60 percent of Navy ships and aircraft will be based in the region.
LPDs are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked landing craft — air cushioned or conventional — plus amphibious assault vehicles, helicopters, and vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
The ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups, the Navy said.
The Navy said a similar type of ship, the USS Anchorage, will be open to the public next Wednesday and Thursday at Broadway Pier.
–City News Service
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