USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2)

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USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2)
USNS John Glenn (T-MLP-2) underway in January 2014.jpg
USNS John Glenn underway in January 2014
Namesake: John Glenn
Owner: Military Sealift Command
Ordered: 27 May 2011[1]
Builder: NASSCO
Laid down: 17 April 2012
Launched: 15 September 2013[2]
Acquired: 12 March 2014[2]
Status: In Service
General characteristics
Class and type: Montford Point-class expeditionary transfer dock
Displacement: 34,500 tonnes[1]
Length: 765 feet (233 m)
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)[1]
Range: 9,000 nautical miles[1]

USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2), (formerly MLP-2)[3] is a United States Navy Expeditionary Transfer Dock ship named in honor of John Glenn, a Naval Aviator, retired United States Marine Corps colonel, veteran of World War II and the Korean War, astronaut, and United States senator.[4]


A US Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)

The Expeditionary Transfer Dock is a new concept, part of the Maritime Prepositioning Force of the future. To control costs, the ships will not be built to combat vessel standards and are designed primarily to support three military hovercraft (such as the Landing Craft Air Cushion), vehicle staging with a sideport ramp and large mooring fenders. A decision was made to eliminate helicopter capability and ship-to-ship transfer of heavy equipment.[1]

The propulsion motors are of British design and build. Power conversion company Converteam was selected as the supplier of Integrated Power Systems with the award of an additional contract to design and supply the electric power, propulsion and vessel automation system.[5]

As an auxiliary support ship, her role would be a seagoing pier for friendly forces in case accessibility to onshore bases is denied. Such flexibility would be useful following natural disasters and for supporting US Marines once they are ashore.[1][4]


Sean Stackley and John Glenn at the christening ceremony in February 2014

The ship's keel was laid down on 17 April 2012 at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, California.[6] She was christened on 2 February 2014 and was attended by John Glenn and his family. Other Navy and Marine guest speakers that attended the ceremony include Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisitions) Sean Stackley, Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert, and Lieutenant General John A. Toolan.[7]

John Glenn was delivered in 2014 to the Military Sealift Command's Maritime Prepositioning Force.[6][8][9] As an ESD, the ship is under the command of the United States Navy's Military Sealift Command, and thus will not be commissioned into the US Navy (hence her designation prefix, "USNS").[1] The ship will undergo further construction additions at the Vigor Shipyard in Portland, Oregon.[9]

Ship re-designation[edit]

Effective 4 September 2015, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus officially announced the creation of a new ship designation, "E" for expeditionary support. Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) will be called Expeditionary Fast Transport, or EPF; the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) will be called Expeditionary Transfer Dock, or ESD; and the Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) variant of the MLP will be called Expeditionary Mobile Base, or ESB. The new designation was pursuant to a memorandum sent to Secretary Mabus from Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert dated 31 August 2015.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The US Navy's Mobile Landing Platform Ships (MLP)". Watershed Publishing. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b "John Glenn (T-ESD-2)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Navy Renames Three Ship Classes, Creates 'Expeditionary' Designator in Naming System". USNI News Blog. United States Naval Institute. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (4 January 2012). "Navy Names First Three Mobile Landing Platform Ships". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Conversion to Supply Propulsion Systems for US Navy's Mobile Landing Platform Program". 3 August 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b "General Dynamics NASSCO Begins Construction of the Future USNS John Glenn" (Press release). NASSCO. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  7. ^ "USNS John Glenn christened: Navy names ship in honor of the former astronaut and Ohio senator". The Plain Dealer. Associated Press. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  8. ^ Scott, Richard (30 September 2010). "Floating world: US Navy eyes Mobile Landing Platform as sea base pontoon". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.
  9. ^ a b USNI News Editor (13 March 2014). "NASSCO Delivers Second Mobile Landing Platform". United States Naval Institute News. Retrieved 3 May 2014.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External links[edit]