The Navy will christen the newest amphibious transport dock ship, USS Portland (LPD 27), Saturday, May 21 during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The future USS Portland is named in honor of Portland, Oregon with Bonnie Amos, wife of the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos (ret.), to serve as the ship’s sponsor.
Director, Expeditionary Warfare, Marine Maj. Gen. Christopher Owens, will serve as the principal speaker during the ceremony. Highlighting the event will be Amos breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship – a time-honored Navy tradition.
“The christening of the future USS Portland brings this great warship one step closer to joining our nation’s growing fleet,” said The Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy. “The skill and dedication of the men and women who brought this ship from an idea to a reality, our country’s incomparable shipbuilders, will be remembered for years to come by the sailors and Marines who will serve aboard LPD 27 around the world.”
This will be the third U.S. Navy ship named Portland, honoring both the Oregon seaport and Maine’s largest city. The first was heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA 33), which was commissioned on Feb. 23, 1933. Serving throughout World War II, she saw action at a number of important battles, including Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, Corregidor, and Okinawa. The second, dock landing ship USS Portland (LSD 37), was commissioned Oct. 3, 1970. Over the course of nearly 33 years of service, she participated in a number of important operations, including the 1976 evacuation of American citizens from Lebanon, the 1983 multi-national peacekeeping mission to Beirut, Lebanon, and deployment of Marines to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Portland will be the 11th San Antonio-class ship, and is currently scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2017. The ships are designed to support embarking, transporting, and landing elements of over 800 Marines with both a flight deck, which accommodates CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and a well deck that can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles.
The San Antonio-class ships are versatile players in maritime security with the ability to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs), or Joint Task Forces (JTFs). In addition to performing their primary mission, San Antonio class ships have supported anti-piracy operations, provided humanitarian assistance, and foreign disaster relief operations around the world.
Release No: NR-181-16
May 20, 2016