USS Fallujah Keel 'Truly and Fairly Laid'"
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel on Wednesday for the America-class amphibious ship Fallujah (LHA 9).
The ship’s sponsor, Donna Berger, former first lady of the Marine Corps and spouse of Gen. David H. Berger, 38th commandant of the Marine Corps, was in attendance to declare the keel “truly and fairly laid.”
During the authentication ceremony, Ingalls welder Seveta Gray welded the initials of the sponsor onto a ceremonial keel plate that will remain with the ship throughout its life.
Under Secretary of the Navy Erik Raven also provided remarks at the ceremony:The USS Fallujah, like her predecessors the USS America, USS Tripoli and USS Bougainville, will one day join the amphibious fleet, and serve as the centerpiece for amphibious ready groups and Marine Expeditionary Units.
“L-class ships like the future USS Fallujah make our Navy and Marine Corps a potent fighting team, forward-postured around the globe, ready to respond to crisis and disaster.”
The future USS Fallujah (LHA 9) is the fourth America-class large-deck amphibious assault ship built at Ingalls Shipbuilding and the second ship in the class to be built with a well deck.
Similar to Bougainville, Fallujah will retain the aviation capability of the America-class design while adding the surface assault capability of a well deck and a larger flight deck configured for F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and MV-22 Osprey aircraft.
These large-deck amphibious assault ships also include medical facilities with full operating suites and triage capabilities.
The America class is a multi-functional and versatile ship that is capable of operating in a high density, multi-threat environment as an integral member of an expeditionary strike group, an amphibious task force or an amphibious ready group.
Ingalls has delivered 15 large-deck amphibious ships to the U.S. Navy. The shipyard delivered the first in the new America class of amphibious assault ships (LHA 6) in 2014. The second ship in the America class, USS Tripoli (LHA 7), was delivered to the Navy in early 2020 and Bougainville (LHA 8) and Fallujah (LHA 9) are currently under construction.