U.S. Navy sailors Thursday began moving aboard LPD 17, the first San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock
ship built by Northrop Grumman Corporation. This activity is a significant step in bringing this modern, highly technical asset to life as part of the nation's defense plan.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems delivered the LPD 17 to the U. S.
Navy on July 20. The LPD 17 design includes advances such as enhanced
survivability, state-of-the-art command-and control capability,
automated systems, modernized mission stations and enhanced ergonomics,
which greatly improve the quality of life at sea for the sailors and
Marines. With these advances, the LPD 17 class is the most
sophisticated and survivable amphibious ship ever
produced, and as
such, offers unparalleled amphibious war-fighting capabilities.
"There are many milestones we chart and observe during the
construction of U.S. Navy vessels," said Bat Robinson, vice president
and general manager of expeditionary warfare programs for Northrop
Grumman's Ship Systems sector. "But the crew move-aboard milestone
ranks as the most significant because those men and women wearing U.S.
Navy uniforms now have a place to call their home. We've made great
strides in providing a ship that offers more sailor-friendly features
than any ship in the history of the Navy. The attention to
human-factor designs and quality craftsmanship displayed by the
shipbuilder's of Northrop Grumman will allow these sailors and Marines
to perform their duties of defending freedom in a more modern
"The first thing I noticed was the wider spaces in the
passageways and ladderways," said Montrell Dorsey, a second-class
gunner's mate on LPD 17 who served on prior LPD-class ships. "It's so
much easier to move around, especially if I'm carrying equipment. But
it's even better for Marines because it gives them the ability to move
forward-to-aft quickly, which is important in crisis situations.
"And, we love the sit-up racks because they give every sailor
the opportunity to have privacy and the ability to read or work in
their own space," he continued, commenting on the racks' individual
lights, ventilation and writing surfaces. "This is the most
sailor-friendly ship I have served on and it gives me great pride to
know that a company headquartered in my home state has built and
delivered such an outstanding vessel."