USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49)

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USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) at anchor in the Gulf of Thailand.
Career
Namesake: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Ordered: 17 June 1988
Builder: Avondale Shipyards
Laid down: 15 April 1991
Launched: 16 January 1993
Commissioned: 7 January 1995
Homeport: San Diego, California
Motto: First in Freedom
Status: in active service, as of 2014
Badge: USS Harpers Ferry LSD-49 Crest.png
General characteristics
Displacement: 11,604 tons (light)
16,601 tons (full)
Length: 610 ft (190 m)
Beam: 84 ft (26 m)
Draft: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Propulsion: Four Colt Industries, 16-cylinder diesel engines, with two shafts, 33,000 shp (25 MW)
Speed: 20+ knots (37+ km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
Two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCACs)
Complement: 22 officers, 397 enlisted men
Marine detachment: 402 + 102 surge
Armament: Two 25 mm Mk 38 rapid-fire cannon
Two 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts
Two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers
six .50 caliber M2HB machine guns

USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) is the lead ship of her class of landing ship dock of the United States Navy. This warship was named for the town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which, because of the Federal arsenal there, was an important location during the Civil War. As of 2011, Harpers Ferry is commanded by Commander Stephen Ilteris. USS Harpers Ferry is assigned to the Navy's "Amphibious Group 1". The homeport of the Harpers Ferry is at San Diego, California. Harpers Ferry was previously stationed at the American Naval Base in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan before she was relieved in 2011 by USS Germantown. This base is available to the U.S. Navy because of the Mutual Defense Treaty between Japan and the United States.

Harpers Ferry was laid down on 15 April 1991, at the Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, and she was launched on 16 January 1993. She was commissioned on 7 January 1995.

On 1 September 2002, Harpers Ferry relieved USS Germantown (LSD-42) as a forward-deployed warship based in Japan. In 2011, the two ships exchanged places again with the USS Harpers Ferry returning to San Diego, California as its homeport.

Following the Cyclone Nargis disaster in Burma in 2008, and during the following "Operation Caring Response" humanitarian aid mission to Burma, Harpers Ferry steamed in Burmese waters from 13 May to 5 June, waiting for the Burmese junta government to allow American aid to be taken to its citizens. During this operation, she was a part of USS Essex's expeditionary strike group, which also included Juneau and the guided-missile destroyer Mustin,[1] However, in early June, with permission to enter Burmese airspace and land areas still not forthcoming from the Burmese government, it was decided to withdraw this aid mission and to return this Naval Task Group back to its previously-scheduled operations.[2]

In October 2009, Harpers Ferry participated in humanitarian rescue operations in the Pangasinan province, of the Philippines, following the impact of a typhoon that caused serious flooding.[3]

In early April 2010, the ship participated in the recovery efforts of the sunken R.O.K. Navy ship ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772).[4]

This ship was one of several participating in disaster relief after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[5]

USS Harpers Ferry prepares to moor in Subic Bay, Philippines (2006).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Martin Fletcher; Joanna Sugden (9 May 2008). "US threatens military aid drops as Burma leaders stall". The Times Online. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  2. ^ "USS Essex Group / 31st MEU Prepare to Resume Previous Operational Schedule" (PDF). Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM). 3 June 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-01. [dead link]
  3. ^ TJ Burgonio (9 October 2009). "Defense chief asks US ship to help in Pangasinan rescue". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  4. ^ Jung Sung-ki, Lee Tae-hoon (2 April 2010). "Torpedo More Probable Cause Than Mine". Korea Times. Retrieved 2010-04-02. 
  5. ^ 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"

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