AVONDALE, La. – The future USS Anchorage (LPD 23) successfully completed acceptance trials last week, sailing from and returning to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) shipyard in Avondale, La. WorkBoat photographer Tom Pumphret was on hand and grabbed some great shots of the vessel being assisted by the escort tug Josephine Ann.
The Josephine Ann is a 4,000-hp tug operated by EN Bisso & Son and was built by Eastern Shipbuilding in 2008.
The Anchorage is the seventh ship of the San Antonio class of amphibious transport dock ships to be presented to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) for acceptance. It is scheduled to be commissioned in 2013 in the ship’s namesake city of Anchorage, Alaska. This is the second ship to be named Anchorage after Alaska’s largest city and it will join USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and USS San Diego (LPD 22) as the fourth ship of the class to be homeported in San Diego, Calif.
The USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and USS New York (LPD 21) operate out of Norfolk, Va. Three additional LPD 17-class ships are currently under construction at HII facilities on the Gulf Coast including the future Arlington (LPD 24), Somerset (LPD 25), and John P. Murtha (LPD 26).
“These trials are the final major milestone prior to delivering LPD 23 to the Navy,” said Jay Stefany, LPD 17 class program manager for the Navy’s Program Executive Office, Ships, in a statement. “Ingalls continues to make strides since the success of USS San Diego’s (LPD 22) trials last fall in providing ships with vital amphibious capabilities to the fleet. LPD 23’s performance in these trials reflects the increasing maturity of the class.”
During the trials, according to a press release, the ship demonstrated a variety of systems including main propulsion engineering and ship control systems, combat and communications systems, damage control, various mission systems, food service and crew support and the shipboard wide area network – the electronic backbone of the ship.
Among the highlights of the at sea trial portion, Anchorage completed a four-hour, full-power run, self defense detect-to-engage exercises, steering checks, a quick reversal, boat handling and anchoring, according to the release. The at-sea rapid ballast and deballast demonstration is unique to amphibious ships and consists of rapidly flooding the ship’s well deck as if landing craft were to be launched or recovered. The ship is then deballasted to return to the normal operating draft. In the case of this acceptance trial, the results of the rapid ballast event beat the 15-minute time standard by almost 2 minutes, what the Navy called “a significant achievement.”
“The government/industry team on the Gulf Coast is on track to deliver three LPDs within a year, a record for this ship class,” said Capt. Steve Mitchell, supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast, in a statement. “Each team member contributed to quality assurance, testing, and evaluation in the months preceding these trials and the successful completion of over 200 trial events this week.”