USA — Navy to Christen Amphibious Transport Dock Ship Arlington

The Navy will chris­ten the newest amphibi­ous trans­port dock ship, Arling­ton, Sat­ur­day, March 26, 2011, dur­ing a 10 a.m. CDT cer­e­mo­ny at Northrop Grum­man Ship­build­ing, Pascagoula, Miss. The ship is named for the city of Arling­ton, Va., hon­or­ing the 184 vic­tims in the air and on the ground who lost their lives when Amer­i­can Air­lines Flight 77 crashed into the Pen­ta­gon Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the mil­i­tary and civil­ian employ­ees, emer­gency, fire and res­cue per­son­nel of Arling­ton Coun­ty and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties who pro­vid­ed crit­i­cal assis­tance after the attack.

Arling­ton Coun­ty Fire Chief James Schwartz, the inci­dent com­man­der coor­di­nat­ing the res­cue response efforts on the ground at the Pen­ta­gon dur­ing the Sept. 11 attack, will deliv­er the ceremony’s prin­ci­pal address. Joyce Rums­feld, wife of for­mer Sec­re­tary of Defense Don­ald Rums­feld, is the ship’s spon­sor, and in accor­dance with Navy tra­di­tion, will break a bot­tle of cham­pagne across the bow to for­mal­ly chris­ten the ship.

Des­ig­nat­ed LPD 24, Arling­ton is the eighth amphibi­ous trans­port dock ship in the San Anto­nio class. As an ele­ment of future expe­di­tionary strike groups, the ship will sup­port the Marine Corps “mobil­i­ty tri­ad,” which con­sists of the land­ing craft air cush­ion vehi­cle, amphibi­ous vehi­cles and the Osprey tilt-rotor air­craft. Arling­ton will pro­vide improved warfight­ing capa­bil­i­ties, includ­ing an advanced com­mand-and-con­trol suite, increased lift-capa­bil­i­ty in vehi­cle and car­go-car­ry­ing capac­i­ty and advanced ship-sur­viv­abil­i­ty fea­tures. The ship is capa­ble of embark­ing a land­ing force of up to 800 Marines.

Two pre­vi­ous ships have car­ried the name Arling­ton. The first was a steel-hulled C1-B type car­go ship oper­at­ing dur­ing World War II. The sec­ond USS Arling­ton was a 14,500-ton Viet­nam War era, major com­mu­ni­ca­tions relay ship, which assist­ed with com­mu­ni­ca­tions dur­ing a June 1969 con­fer­ence between U.S. Pres­i­dent Nixon and Repub­lic of Viet­nam Pres­i­dent Thieu.

Cmdr. Dar­ren W. Nel­son of Rushville, Neb., is the prospec­tive com­mand­ing offi­cer and will lead a crew of 360 offi­cers and enlist­ed Navy per­son­nel and three Marines. The 24,900-ton ship is 684 feet in length, has an over­all beam of 105 feet, and a nav­i­ga­tion­al draft of 23 feet.

To view the cer­e­mo­ny via live web­cast, vis­it http://www.vistasat.com/ngwebcast.html.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Infor­ma­tion at 703–697-5342. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it http://go.usa.gov/2DU .

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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