Yesterday the US Navy commissioned its newest landing transport dock ship, USS Arlington (LPD 24). Arlington honors the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the first responders from Arlington County, VA.
Arlington is the eighth ship of the San Antoni0-class of landing platform docks (LPD) and will serve as an effective sea-based platform for Marines, projecting power ashore through the mobility triad of high speed landing craft air cushioned vehicles, expeditionary fighting vehicles and the Osprey MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
In a statement at the commissioning, the vessel’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Darren W. Nelson, said “Ever present, are the 184 victims and their families, who perished on Sept. 11, 2001. Wherever we go and whatever we do, we will honor them and the first responders as we carry these special folks with us, in heart and in mind as is our credo, with ‘Strength, Honor and Fortitude’.”
Arlington will be an important element of future expeditionary strike and amphibious ready groups, supporting improved warfighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features.
Arlington’s sister ships have already served as flagships for anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and have provided humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster relief operations.
Five ships from the San Antonio class have already been commissioned, including USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS New York (LPD 21) and USS San Diego (LPD 22).
Video of the ship being prepared for commissioning: