USS Ashland (LSD-48)
|Ordered:||11 December 1985|
|Laid down:||4 April 1988|
|Launched:||11 November 1989|
|Commissioned:||9 May 1992|
|Motto:||Deliver Liberty, Defend Freedom|
|Status:||in active service|
|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
|4 LCACs or 21 LCM-6 or up to 36 Amphibious Assault Vehicles AAV|
|Capacity:||on deck: one LCM-6, two LCPL and one LCVP|
|Troops:||Marine detachment: 402 + 102 surge|
|Complement:||22 officers, 391 enlisted|
Ashland was laid down on 4 April 1988, by the Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La.; launched and christened on 11 November 1989, sponsored by Mrs. Kathleen Foley, wife of Admiral Sylvester R. Foley, Jr. (Ret.); and commissioned on 9 May 1992, at New Orleans. As of 2013, Ashland is homeported at Sasebo, Japan, and assigned to Amphibious Squadron 11.
2005 rocket attack
On 19 August 2005, the Ashland and the USS Kearsarge were targeted by three Katyusha rockets while in port in Aqaba, Jordan. The vessels were not hit, but one Jordanian soldier was killed and another was wounded after two rockets hit nearby docks. The third rocket landed on a taxi near the Eilat airport in Israel but did not explode. Responsibility was claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigade, which states that it is associated with the al-Qaeda terrorist group.
In January 2007, the warship was sent to the coast of Somalia to conduct antiterrorist operations as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower task force. On 31 May 2008 The Guardian reported that the human rights group Reprieve said up to seventeen US Naval vessels may have been used to covertly hold captives. Reprieve expressed the concern the Ashland had been used as a receiving ship for up to 100 captives taken in East Africa.
On 10 April 2010, seven suspected pirates on a skiff shot at the Ashland approximately 330 nautical miles (610 km) off the coast of Djibouti. Ashland fired two rounds at the skiff from her MK-38 Mod 2, 25mm gun. The people on board the skiff abandoned ship as it became engulfed in flames. Rigid-hulled inflatable boats from the Ashland rescued the six surviving individuals and brought them aboard the ship for medical treatment. The Ashland was not damaged and there were no injuries to the crew. On 29 November 2010 Jama Idle Ibrahim was sentenced at a federal courthouse in Norfolk, Virginia to 30 years in prison for his involvement in the April piracy attacks against the Ashland. "Today marks the first sentencing in Norfolk for acts of piracy in more than 150 years," said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride.
Mid-life extension work on the Ashland, completed in 2012, included normal repair and refurbishment, as well as major alterations to several ship systems. Improvements to the ship’s diesel engines, onboard networks, engineering control systems, and power management, and improved capacity for air conditioning and chilled water distribution were made. The biggest long-term change, however, involved the replacement of high-maintenance steam systems with all-electric functionality.
In August 2015, Ashland with portions of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked conducted Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) in Saipan after Typhoon Soudelor passed through the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands.
The Ashland, one of eight active ships in its class, is expected to remain in service and mission-capable to 2038.
- Duncan Campbell, Richard Norton-Taylor (2 June 2008). "US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
- Duncan Campbell, Richard Norton-Taylor (2 June 2008). "Prison ships, torture claims, and missing detainees". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
- Brigham, Gillian (15 April 2008). "U.S. 6th Fleet's Southeast Africa Task Force Arrives in Madagascar". United States Naval Forces Europe. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
- "USS Ashland Captures Pirates". United States Navy. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- Hulette, Elisabeth, "Ashland Returns With A Story To Tell: Pirates", Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 16 August 2010.
- 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.
- Associated Press (August 9, 2015). "US aid flows to Mariana Islands". Skynews.com.au. Sky News.
- "Mid-Life Extensions for USN LSDs". Defense Industry Daily. 17 May 2011.
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