The Navy is to commission amphibious transport dock ship 'USS Anchorage' in namesake port city of Anchorage, Alaska, 4, May 2013.
Adm. Cecil Haney, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, will deliver the ceremony's keynote address. Annette Conway, wife of retired Gen. James T. Conway, the 34th commandant of the Marine Corps, is serving as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
"Like the previous USS Anchorage, I am confident LPD 23 and her crew will represent the United States with distinction around the world for many decades to come," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "As we execute our nation's defense strategy and our Marine Corps returns to its traditional maritime roots, the improved warfighting capability Anchorage brings to the fleet will be critical."
The first USS Anchorage (LSD 36) was commissioned in 1969, earning the Meritorious Unit Commendation and six battle stars for Vietnam service, receiving the Navy Unit Citation and the Southwest Asia Service Medal (2 stars) for Operation Desert Storm, and supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. When decommissioned in 2003, the first USS Anchorage was the most decorated dock landing ship on the West Coast.
Designated LPD 23, Anchorage is the seventh amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. As an element of future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support Marine Corps ship-to-shore mobility, which consists of the landing craft air cushion vehicle, amphibious assault vehicles and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Anchorage will provide improved warfighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features. The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines.
Cmdr. Joel G. Stewart is the commanding officer and will lead a crew of more than 360 officers and enlisted Navy and Marine Corps personnel. The 24,900-ton Anchorage was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries - Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana. The ship is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, and a navigational draft of 23 feet. Four turbo-charged diesels power the ship to sustained speeds in excess of 22 knots.