USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2)
USNS John Glenn underway in January 2014
|Owner:||Military Sealift Command|
|Ordered:||27 May 2011|
|Laid down:||17 April 2012|
|Launched:||15 September 2013|
|Acquired:||12 March 2014|
|Class and type:||Montford Point-class expeditionary transfer dock|
|Length:||765 feet (233 m)|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h)|
|Range:||9,000 nautical miles|
USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2), (formerly MLP-2) 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.
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.
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.
An auxiliary support ship, its role would be a seagoing pier for friendly forces in case accessibility to onshore bases are denied. Such flexibility would be useful following natural disasters and for supporting US Marines once they are ashore. The ESD in its basic form possesses a core capability set that supports a vehicle staging area, side port ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three landing craft air cushioned vessel lanes.
The ship's keel was laid down on 17 April 2012 at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, California. It 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.
The John Glenn was delivered in 2014 to the Military Sealift Command's Maritime Prepositioning Force. 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"). The ship will undergo further construction additions at the Vigor Shipyard in Portland, Oregon.
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.
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- Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (4 January 2012). "Navy Names First Three Mobile Landing Platform Ships". Defense.gov. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
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- "General Dynamics NASSCO Begins Construction of the Future USNS John Glenn" (Press release). NASSCO. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "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.
- Scott, Richard (30 September 2010). "Floating world: US Navy eyes Mobile Landing Platform as sea base pontoon". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.
- USNI News Editor (13 March 2014). "NASSCO Delivers Second Mobile Landing Platform". United States Naval Institute News. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
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