Shipyard workers at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
' (NGSS) Ingalls Operations laid the keel for the future USS San Diego (LPD 22) during a ceremony May 23 at the Pascagoula shipyard. San Diego is the sixth ship of the San Antonio class of amphibious transport dock ships to begin construction. The future USS San Diego will play a key role in 21st century Navy and Marine Corps expeditionary warfare by embarking, transporting and landing elements of an assault landing force by helicopters, vertical take-off and landing aircraft, air cushion landing craft and expeditionary fighting vehicles. Then-Secretary of the Navy Gordon
England named LPD 22 San Diego on April 30, 2004, honoring the city’s role as “the home to a large number of the Pacific Fleet’s ships, Sailors and Marines.” USS San Diego will also honor other ships named San Diego including the World War II anti-aircraft light cruiser CL-53 and the combat stores ship AFS 6. LPD 22 will be homeported in its namesake city. Two of San Diego’s sister ships, USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS New Orleans (LPD 18), have been commissioned and are operating from their homeports of Norfolk and San Diego, respectively. The future USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) will be the next LPD commissioned and will be followed by Green Bay (LPD 20) and New York (LPD 21) both of which are currently under construction. The future USS San Diego is expected to be commissioned in fiscal year 2011.