USA: Somerset Deploys on Maiden Voyage, Nears Commissioning
All the hard work on certifying the ninth U.S.Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, Pre-Commissioning Unit Somerset, (LPD 25) has finally paid off enabling the ship to cast off from Avondale-based Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Shipbuilding site on Monday, February 3, bound for commissioning.
Somerset will be officially brought to life on March 1, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, rounding off her shipbuilding cycle, and thus acquiring the status of a fully-fledged US Navy ship.
Before heading out to sea on her maiden voyage, Somerset had to pass several certifications, including light-off assessment (LOA), damage control material assessment, crew certification phase two, and anti-terrorism force protection.
Somerset is named in honor of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed near Shanksville in Somerset County, Pa during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The US Navy took delivery of soon-to-be USS Somerset on 18 October, following completion of three-day acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico.
The construction of the remaining two San Antonio-class ships, John P Murtha (LPD 26) and Portland (LPD 27) should be completed in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Once commissioned, USS Somerset (LPD 25) will set sail for its homeport of San Diego, Calif.
|SAN ANTONIO- CLASS LPD SPECIFICATIONS|
|Draught||7.0 m full load|
|Speed||In excess of 22 knots|
|Complement||Crew: 28 officers, and 333 enlisted|
|Type||amphibious transport dock|
|Status||Inactive, about to be commissioned|
Naval Today Staff, February 5, 2014; Image: US NAVY