Navy's Newest Amphibious Assault Ship Commissioned At Ingalls
The U.S. Navy's newest Wasp Class multipurpose amphibious assault ship was commissioned USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) during ceremonies October 16, 1993 at Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Miss.
Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., USMC, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, delivered the principal address for the ceremony, during which LHD 3 officially joined the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), recently retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, placed the new ship in commission. Gen.
The christening of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) at Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton). From left to right: Matron of Honor Eleanor Knott; U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi; sponsor's husband General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and ship's sponsor Alma Powell.
Powell was principal speaker at USS Kearsarge's christening at Ingalls last year, while his wife, Alma, who also attended the commissioning ceremony, sponsored and christened LHD 3.
Also participating in the commissioning were: Vice Admiral J. Paul Reason, USN, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Captain Joseph A. Carnevale, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Pascagoula; John M. Leonis, senior vice president, Litton Industries; and Jerry St. Pe', president of Ingalls Shipbuilding and senior vice president of Litton.
The 40,500-ton ship is 844 feet long, with a beam of 106 feet. Two steam propulsion plants, developing a combined 70,000 hp, will drive LHD 3 to speeds in excess of 20 knots. Outfitted for her primary mission, USS Kearsarge will carry a mix of assault helicopters, plus six to eight Harrier jets. The ship will be fully capable of maintaining its aircraft and landing craft, as well as supporting the embarked landing force squadron. LHD 3 will have more than 100,000 cubic feet of cargo space. Accommodations for nearly 3,000 troops and crewmembers are provided in the ship's living areas. For combat support, as well as humanitarian missions, LHD 3 will have six fully-equipped medical operating rooms, four dental operating rooms and hospital facilities capable of caring for 600 patients.
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