On September 15, the Navy’s newest ship–America–“arrived in its home port of San Diego.”
The America is destined for Marine Corps use but is a departure from previous ships in that it lacks a “well deck” from which Marines have traditionally launched “air cushioned” and landing craft for beach storming. Transportation from the America to the beach will be done in the air–via the MV 22 Osprey.
U-T San Diego reports that the America was designed around the Osprey. Designers had the vertical landing F-35 Joint Striker Fighter in mind as well.
The America is an 844 ft “mini-carrier” that can accommodate 12 Ospreys, 6 F-35s, 3 UH 2Y Hueys, 4 AH 1Z Cobras, and the list goes on. In short, the America carries aircraft that will get Marines to the beach fast.
Lt. Colonel G. D. Hasseltine explained: “What [the America] can do is put a lot of Marines ashore at an expanded distance at a high rate of speed, which is really (what matters) when you look at the majority of missions that Marines are given.”
Besides putting Marines on target fast with Ospreys, the other aircraft aboard the America portend substantial firepower in a support role.
The America will be commissioned in San Francisco on October 11.
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