USS Germantown (LSD-42)
|Namesake:||Battle of Germantown|
|Ordered:||26 March 1982|
|Laid down:||5 August 1982|
|Launched:||29 June 1984|
|Commissioned:||8 February 1986|
|Motto:||Follow in Our Footsteps|
|Status:||in active service, as of 2014[update]|
|Displacement:||11,496 tons (light)
16,396 tons (full)
|Length:||610 ft (190 m)|
|Beam:||84 ft (26 m)|
|Draft:||21 ft (6.4 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 Colt Industries, 16-cylinder diesel engines, 2 shafts, 33,000 shp (25 MW)|
|Speed:||20+ knots (37+ km/h)|
|Boats & landing
|Troops:||Marine detachment: 402 + 102 surge|
|Complement:||22 officers, 391 enlisted|
|Armament:||2 × 25 mm Mk 38 cannons
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts
2 × Rolling Airframe Missile
6 × .50 caliber M2HB machine guns
Germantown was the first ship in the class to serve in the Pacific. The amphibious ship's mission is to project power ashore by transporting and launching amphibious craft and vehicles loaded with embarked marines in support of an amphibious assault. The ship was designed specifically to operate with Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vessels. It has the largest capacity for these landing craft (four) of any US Navy amphibious platform.
The navy ordered USS Germantown 26 March 1982. Four years later, on 8 February 1986, the ship was commissioned. In 1990–1991, she played a significant role during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The ship participated in mock amphibious assaults in the United Arab Emirates after the start of the air war in preparation for a possible amphibious assault.
On 16 August 2002, Harpers Ferry relieved Germantown as a forward-deployed naval unit in Sasebo, Japan. Germantown returned to San Diego, California, where she underwent a US$25 million overhaul. One year later, the ship deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Expeditionary Strike Group One. Germantown supported Operation Iraqi Freedom by landing marines and equipment from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
In February 2006 Germantown deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, carrying the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to Kuwait. She assisted Iraq in the North Persian Gulf by responding to an oil fire on the Khwar Al Amaya Oil Terminal and by querying vessels before they entered Iraqi waters. Germantown conducted "Presence Operations" throughout the Persian Gulf before returning to San Diego, California in August 2006.
Germantown departed for the Persian Gulf on 5 November 2007 to support Operation Enduring Freedom by transporting members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to Kuwait for field exercises. She then proceeded to conduct maritime security operations throughout the Persian Gulf and was later tasked with conducting oil platform defense in the narrow Shatt-Al-Arab waterway on the Iran-Iraq border. She returned home to San Diego, California, on 3 June 2008 and began preparations for an extended mid-life overhaul to commence in the winter of 2008.
In January 2011, the Germantown reversed the 2002 hull swap with the Harpers Ferry, to return to Sasebo, and immediately proceeded to join the Essex Amphibious Ready Group for Cobra Gold 2011, a multinational exercise hosted annually by the Kingdom of Thailand.
This ship was one of several participating in disaster relief after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The ship departed Sasebo in September 2011 for a patrol of the western Pacific. Accompanying the ship were the USS Denver (LPD-9) and USS Essex (LHD-2). In November 2013, Germantown and USS Ashland (LSD-48) supported relief operations in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
In March 2014, the ship's commanding officer, Commander Jason Leach was relieved of duty by the head of the 7th Fleet's amphibious unit "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command." News reports indicated that "The relief was not related to a single incident but was the result of a poor command climate on board the ship and the commanding officer’s failure to use the good judgment expected of leaders in the navy and to uphold standards."
- Rabiroff, John. "U.S. military delivers 40 tons of supplies to hardest-hit areas," Stars and Stripes (US). 17 March 2011; Seawaves,"Warships Supporting Earthquake in Japan"
- Stars and Stripes, "Essex Ready Group and 31st MEU underway for fall patrol", 26 September 2011.
- Seth Robson (November 22, 2013). "Amphibious ships, 900 Marines replace GW group in Philippines". Stars and Stripes. Stars and Stripes. "GUIUAN, Philippines — Two amphibious ships, the USS Ashland and the USS Germantown, along with 900 Okinawa-based Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, have arrived in the Philippines to boost Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts."
- Germantown CO Sacked for "poor command climate" 7 March 2014, Navy Times
- The above content is based on the  description at the official website, which is in the public domain.
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