USS Nassau (LHA-4)
USS Nassau in the Atlantic Ocean in November 2007
|Namesake:||Battle of Nassau|
|Awarded:||6 November 1970|
|Laid down:||13 August 1973|
|Launched:||21 January 1978|
|Commissioned:||28 July 1979|
|Decommissioned:||31 March 2011|
|Homeport:||Naval Station Norfolk|
|Motto:||"First from the Sea"|
|Nickname:||LHA-4 = LynnHaven Anchorage 4ever; LHA = Leaving Home Again; LHA = Largest Hotel Afloat; LHA = Largest Hospital Afloat; NASSAU = Never A Set Schedule Always Underway; Big Nasty|
|Awarded first Battle "E" November 1983|
|Class and type:||Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship|
|Length:||833.34 ft (254.00 m)|
|Beam:||106.6 ft (32.5 m)|
|Draft:||26.25 ft (8.00 m)|
|Speed:||24 knots (44 km/h)|
|Complement:||82 officers, 882 enlisted men|
|Armament:||2 × RAM launchers
4 × 25 mm Mk 38 cannons
2 × Phalanx CIWS
5 × .50-caliber M2HB machine guns
|Aircraft carried:||6 AV-8B Harrier attack planes, 4 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, 12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, 9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, 4 UH-1N Huey helicopters|
USS Nassau (LHA-4) was a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship. She was capable of transporting more than 3,000 US United States Navy and United States Marine Corps personnel. Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, laid the ship's keel on 13 August 1973; she was commissioned on 28 July 1979. She was decommissioned on 31 March 2011.
She had 1,400 compartments, nine elevators and two horizontal conveyors. She also had two boilers – the largest ever manufactured for the United States Navy. They can generate 400 tons of steam per hour and develop 140,000 horsepower or 104 megawatts (MW). Nassau 's electrical power subsystem creates 14 MW to provide electrical power for the ship. She had air conditioning equipment rated at a total of 1,500 tons (5.3 MW) and could ballast 12,000 tons of seawater for trimming the ship to receive and discharge landing craft from the well deck.
She was constructed with more than 20,000 tons of steel, 3,000 tons of aluminum, 400 miles (600 km) of cable and 80 miles (130 km) of pipe. She had a 900 horsepower (671 kW) bow thruster for lateral movement at low speeds that could move the bow with 20,000 pounds of force (90 kN)—equivalent to half the pulling power of a diesel railroad locomotive. She had been fitted with a 300-bed hospital, four medical and three dental operating rooms. Her cargo areas were capable of holding tanks, trucks, artillery and large warfare supply needs.
In support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the Nassau deployed to the Middle East for over eight months on only eight days' notice. On leaving the United States, the Nassau became the flagship for Commander, Amphibious Task Force and the 4th MEB's Commanding General. In the last week of the war, she was employed as a "Harrier Carrier", tasked with operating primarily as a STOVL attack carrier for Marine AV-8B Harrier II fighters.
Nassau participated in several more operations throughout the 1990s, including Operations Support Democracy, Deny Flight, Allied Force and Noble Anvil. These operations were in support of US foreign policy objectives; she also participated in numerous Navy and joint exercises that took her to numerous locations in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Adriatic regions, including Haiti, Spain, Morocco, Italy, France, Greece, Israel, Albania, Zaire and Kosovo.
Nassau received her first "Battle Effectiveness "E" award" in November 1983, with a second in 2007 - these awards are presented annually to ships that demonstrate the highest state of combat readiness in their group and their ability to execute their wartime tasks.
She deployed in February 2008 as the flagship of the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group in support of Maritime Security Operations and Theater Security Cooperation efforts in the Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
In addition to her primary role as a Marine transport, Nassau has served as a flagship; a logistics hub for incoming and outgoing mail, cargo and other supplies; combat search and rescue and the tactical recovery and rescue of downed aircraft and personnel.
In August 2008, she had returned from deployment and was undergoing maintenance. At 4:30 pm Central Time on Thursday, 18 September 2008, KHOU News 11 in Houston, Texas announced that Nassau was coming to the aid of Galveston Island, following the landfall of Hurricane Ike. Nassau anchored 7 miles (11 km) offshore and troops deployed to the island with heavy machinery to aid with the clean-up of the devastation caused by the hurricane.
In January 2010, Nassau left her Virginia port carrying the 24th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) on a routine deployment of approximately eight months. The 24th MEU, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, consists of a ground combat element, a battalion landing team, an aviation combat element, a logistics combat element and a command element. The Nassau, accompanied by the USS Mesa Verde and the USS Ashland, comprises the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which supports maritime security operations and more in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas. The 5th Fleet covers the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean; the 6th Fleet encompasses the Mediterranean Sea.
Nassau was diverted to Haiti on 21 January 2010, to assist with the international humanitarian aid effort following the earthquake.
After completing its humanitarian efforts in Haiti, the Nassau continued on its mission to the Middle East, eventually tying the all time Navy record of 159 consecutive days out to sea without a port call.
Decommissioning and potential role as humanitarian vessel
Nassau was decommissioned in Norfolk, Virginia on 31 March 2011.
- MC3 Jonathan Pankau USS Nassau Celebrates Birthday in Style 29 July 2009 Navy News
- "Nassau decommissioned after 32 years of service". Retrieved 2 April 2011.
- USS Nassau Wins 2007 Battle "E" Award
- "US diverts 4,000 troops to Haiti". BBC News. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- "Navy Asked to Donate Ex. USS Nassau to Support Humanitarian Relief Worldwide". Defense Update. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 2015-02-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Nassau (LHA-4).|
- nassau.navy.mil USS Nassau official website
- USS Nassau Crewmembers Association website
- USS Nassau (LHA-4) command histories – Naval History & Heritage Command