USA: Oregon’s Senator Applauds Navy for Naming Ship after Portland

Oregon’s Senator Department of Navy for Naming Ship After Portland

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley yesterday applauded the Department of the Navy’s decision last week to name an amphibious transport dock ship the USS Portland after Portland, Oregon. When Senator Merkley was alerted to this news by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus last Thursday, he used the opportunity to continue to press for a ship named after Oregon.

In 2011, an active duty Marine from Oregon contacted Senator Merkley and alerted him to the fact that it has been almost one hundred years since a ship was named after the state of Oregon and asked him to champion the cause for a new ship to be named after Oregon. Since then, Senator Merkley has been asking the Department of the Navy to name a ship after the state of Oregon.

The Secretary of the Navy was aware that Oregon is one of a few states without an active duty ship named after it and believes Oregon has gone the longest without such an honor. The Secretary assured Senator Merkley that Oregon is on the short list for a ship to be named after it.

“It is wonderful to have a Navy ship named after Portland,” said Merkley. “I hope that we will soon be able to also celebrate having a ship named after Oregon. I appreciate Secretary Mabus’ recognition that Oregon has gone far too long without a ship named after the state.”

Construction of the USS Portland began in August 2011 in Newport News. VA. According to the Navy, when it is completed and delivered to the Navy in the summer of 2017, it will be the only ship in the current fleet named for a location in Oregon.  Landing Platform Dock ships are named for major American cities.  Designated LPD 27, the USS Portland will be the third Navy ship to bear the name.

The USS Portland will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century. It will be used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies using different types of craft, including, the Navy said,“air cushion or conventional landing craft or Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft.”

Naval Today Staff, April 18, 2013; Image: US Navy