U.S. Navy to Designate USS FORT LAUDERDALE as Amphibious Transport Dock Ship (LPD-28)
United States Navy to Designate USS FORT LAUDERDALE
as Amphibious Transport Dock Ship (LPD-28)
High Tech Warship to Focus on Expeditionary Warfare Missions
Fort Lauderdale (March 9, 2016) – The Office of the United States Secretary of the Navy has confirmed that the USS FORT LAUDERDALE will be designated as an amphibious transport dock ship (LPD-28).
As the 12th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy, the USS FORT LAUDERDALE will feature a high-tech, sea-based platform that is networked, survivable, and built to operate with and accommodate a variety of military landing craft and assault vehicles.
According to the Navy, the USS FORT LAUDERDALE will have the capacity to deliver a fully equipped battalion of more than 700 Marines, along with gear and supplies, by embarked Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft and Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft, including the MV-22 Osprey. The ship will support amphibious assault, special operations and expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as a secondary aviation platform for amphibious ready groups.
“It is an honor and a privilege to have an amphibious transport dock ship named in our City’s honor,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler. “The important role this vessel will play in amphibious operations and expeditionary warfare missions reflects the Navy’s transformative and highly advanced strategy to protect our shores and safeguard our interests around the globe. We look forward to welcoming the brave men and women who will serve our country aboard the USS FORT LAUDERDALE.”
(Pictured above) A San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship
Displacing more than 25,000 tons at full load, the USS FORT LAUDERDALE will be equipped with Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers to protect it from air threats, Radar Cross-Section (RCS) reduction techniques to make the ship more difficult to locate and target, along with enhanced survivability features that will include improved nuclear blast and fragmentation protection and a shock-hardened structure. The ship will also employ extensive communications, command, control and intelligence systems to support current and projected expeditionary warfare missions.
The Navy’s designation of the USS FORT LAUDERDALE as an amphibious transport dock ship (LPD-28) comes after years of planning and coordination by Chuck Black, a Fort Lauderdale business owner and Veteran who served 20 years in the Navy. As an active member of the National Board of Directors and Immediate Past South Florida Area President of the Navy League of the U.S., Black spearheaded the effort at the local level and will serve as Chair of the City’s future planning efforts related to the christening and commissioning of the ship.
“Having served as Chair of the commissioning of USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG 109) and USCG Cutter RICHARD ETHERIDGE (WPC 1102), I am privileged to lend my experience, expertise and support to this extraordinary project,” said Black. “This historic initiative will strengthen the City’s strong bond with the Navy and leave an indelible legacy for generations to come as our service men and women defend our freedom and protect our shores aboard the USS FORT LAUDERDALE.”
Other San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships in the U.S. Navy include the USS NEW YORK (LPD-21), which honors the victims of the 9/11 tragedy and was constructed using 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center. In addition the USS ARLINGTON (LPD-24) and USS SOMERSET (LPD-25) honor of the victims of the attacks on the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, respectively. Materials from each of those sites were also incorporated into the construction of the ships.
The decision to honor Fort Lauderdale with the naming of a naval vessel underscores the City’s historic ties to U.S. Navy which date back to the 1830s. It was then, during the Second Seminole War, that Navy Lieutenant Levin Powell commanded the “swamp sailors,” a contingency that reinforced Major William Lauderdale’s troops who were stationed along the north bank of the New River constructing the first of three “Fort Lauderdales.”
Fort Lauderdale served as an important Naval training center during World War II. Radar, gunnery and parachuting schools were operated at Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, which today serves as Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. In addition, West Prospect Airfield, known today as Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, served as a training facility for Naval Aviators, including former President George H.W. Bush.
The Fort Lauderdale Council, Navy League of the United States was established 1959 with Admiral Claude V. Ricketts serving as the organization’s first guest speaker. In 1988, the Council established Fort Lauderdale’s first Fleet Appreciation Week. Broward Navy Days was formed in 1990 and the annual Fleet Week celebration was expanded to provide a one-of-a-kind experience to visiting U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard ships and personnel.
Fort Lauderdale’s storied history with the U.S. Navy also includes having the distinct honor of commissioning six vessels in Port Everglades: the USS LEYTE GULF (CG 55) 1987; USS COLE (DDG 67) 1996; USS HIGGINS (DDG 76) 1999; USS BAINBRIDGE (DDG 96) 2004; USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG 109) 2010; and USCGC RICHARD ETHERIDGE (WPC-1102) in 2012.