With a year to go before it even touches the water for the first time, the U.S. Navy's amphibious assault ship USS New York has already made history — twice. It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from
the World Trade Center, and it weathered Hurricane Katrina.
That combination of disasters gives the ship a unique standing among the 2,000 workers building it in a shipyard near New Orleans, says Philip Teel
, vice president of Northrop Grumman Corp. and head of its ship systems division.
Many of its workers have continued on the job despite losing homes and possessions to the storm last Aug. 29, Teel said.
USS New York, scheduled to go into service in 2008, is the fifth in a new, state-of-the art class of warship designed for various missions including special operations against terrorist threats. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and surface assault craft.
The ship was named for the city, the state and victims of Sept. 11, and its motto, Never Forget, is a popular slogan among New Yorkers.
Later ships in the class will include USS Arlington, for the location of the Pentagon, also struck by a hijacked jetliner on Sept. 11, and USS Somerset, named for the western Pennsylvania county where United Flight 93 crashed after its passengers fought with hijackers apparently planning to attack another Washington target.