General Dynamics NASSCO hold keel laying ceremony in its San Diego faciltiy for the future 'USNS John Glenn' (MLP 2).
Delivery of this second MLP ship is scheduled for first quarter 2014, and is to be named John Glenn, in honor of John Herschel Glenn, Jr., the former U.S. Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and U.S. senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space.
Ms. Lyn Glenn, daughter of John Herschel Glenn, Jr., and Mrs. Helen L. Toolan, wife of Lieutenant General John A. Toolan, Jr., Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force, were the honorees for the ceremony, validating the MLP ship's keel by welding their initials onto a steel plate.
The MLP is a flexible platform that will provide capability for large scale logistics movements such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. It will significantly reduce dependency on foreign ports and provide support in the absence of any port, making it especially useful during disaster response and for supporting Marines once they are ashore. The MLP in its basic form possesses a core capability set that supports a vehicle staging area, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three landing craft air cushioned vessel (LCAC) lanes.
"Laying the keel of this second Mobile Landing Platform and finishing construction of the first ship are the latest milestones in this successful shipbuilding program," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "These events serve as evidence of the NASSCO team building and delivering MLP ships efficiently, in support of U.S. Navy efforts to maintain a forward presence."