US Navy Christens New Amphibious Transport Dock as John P Murtha

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 21, 2015

Amphibious warship John P. Murtha: 	Photo by US Naval Institute

Amphibious warship John P. Murtha: Photo by US Naval Institute

 The US Navy is christening the tenth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship on 21 March at the Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) shipbuilding division visitor control centre.

The ship is being named in honour of late John P Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania's twelfth congressional district from 1974 to 2010.
Having served in the Marine Corps for 37 years, Murtha saw service in the Korean War and in Vietnam, and earned the Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
"When you have the namesake of a ship, John P. Murtha, and his wife to join with us and his character and what he represented in the Marines and halls of Congress, to have someone of that service and character represent this ship, I think it's remarkable," Brian Cuccias, President of Ingalls Shipbuilding said proudly.
Construction on the John P. Murtha began back in 2011. The 208 foot long ship will house 400 crew members and an additional 800 Marines. It could be deployed for any mission, from wars to humanitarian expeditions. 
Although this ship will officially be christened Saturday, it won't be set to leave the docks for quite some time. The engines still need to be aligned and the systems need to be tested. 
The 11 planned ships of the class functionally replace more than 40 ships in the Navy's fleet, providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms.
The ship should be ready to go by mid-2016. Until then, the crew will train so when the time comes, they'll be able to answer the call and sail safely to their mission. At Saturday's official christening, House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, will be the featured speaker.
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