The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio
(LPD 17) gets assistance from a tugboat as she prepares to moor at her new homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, Va. As the first in her class, San Antonio represents a key element of the Navy’s sea base transformation. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace over 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice John Suits)
the amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17) arrived at its homeport, Naval Station Norfolk, Jan. 25.
San Antonio was commissioned Jan. 14 at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas, and will be permanently homeported in Norfolk.
“After a magnificent commissioning in Ingleside (Texas), it will feel good for the Sailors on San Antonio to get home,” said San Antonio’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Bradley Lee.
The San Antonio-class will functionally replace more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships). This new class of ships will provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operate with 21st century transformational platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), and future means by which Marines are delivered ashore.
Built at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Avondale Division in New Orleans, the ship is the first Navy vessel to incorporate new crew comfort features, including bunks with increased headroom and swivel-out laptop computer shelves.
According to Lee, in addition to “creature comforts,” the ship will redefine how the Navy operates.
“San Antonio will revolutionize the way that we take the fight to the enemy," said Lee. "The capabilities and flexibility of this class of ships will forever change the way we operate in the littorals [coastlines].”
Now home, San Antonio will move into the testing and initial operational phase of its life.
“Because there are so many new systems on San Antonio, we must test these systems for acceptance into the Navy to fully capitalize on the capabilities,” said Lee.
The crew of more than 360, now reunited with families and friends, can now begin to deliver the capable, cohesive and combat-ready warship that the American people expect.
By Journalist 1st Class (SW) Stefanie Holzeisen-Mullen, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic