USS John P. Murtha

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PCU John P. Murtha (LPD 26) arrives at Naval Station Newport.JPG
John P. Murtha arrives at Naval Station Newport on 16 September 2016.
History
United States
Namesake: John Murtha
Awarded: 1 April 2011[1][2]
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding[1]
Laid down: 6 February 2012[1]
Launched: 30 October 2014[1]
Sponsored by: Donna S. Murtha
Christened: 21 March 2015
Acquired: 13 May 2016[1]
Commissioned: 8 October 2016[3]
Motto: Make A Difference[4]
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock
Displacement: 25,000 tons full
Length:
  • 684 ft 1 in (208.5 m) overall,
  • 660 ft 9 in (201.4 m) waterline
Beam:
  • 104 ft 8 in (31.9 m) extreme,
  • 96 ft 9 in (29.5 m) waterline
Draft: 23 ft (7 m)
Propulsion: Four Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, two shafts, 40,000 hp (30,000 kW)
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
  • Two LCACs (air cushion)
  • or one LCU (conventional)
Capacity: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge to 800 total.
Complement: 32 officers, 364 enlisted[1]
Armament:
Aircraft carried: Launch or land two CH53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1, H-60, or UH-1 helicopters.

USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26), is the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy and is named in honor of Congressman John Murtha (1932–2010) of Pennsylvania. John P. Murtha is homeported at Naval Base San Diego.[1][5]

History[edit]

On 9 April 2010, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the Navy's 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock would be named John P. Murtha (LPD-26).[6] A former United States Marine Corps officer, Murtha was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1974. Murtha served as either chairman or ranking minority member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee from 1989 to 2010.

The contract to build John P. Murtha was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding on 1 April 2011.[2] John P. Murtha's keel was laid down on 6 June 2012 at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.[7] The ship was launched on 30 October 2014,[8][9] christened five months later on 21 March 2015, delivered to the Navy on 13 May 2016, placed in active service on 11 August 2016, and commissioned on 8 October 2016.[3] The ship was sponsored by Congressman Murtha's daughter, Donna S. Murtha.[10]

Commanding Officers[edit]

The first commanding officer is Captain Kevin J. Parker, USN.

Naming controversy[edit]

The decision to deviate from the naming convention for the class, which prior to John P. Murtha had been named after cities or locations,[11] was not without controversy. Some members of Congress questioned the appropriateness of naming a military vessel for Murtha after his call for withdrawing from the Iraq War in 2005 and his public accusation of Marines involved in the Haditha incident.[11] Similar questions arose when, in 2012, Secretary Mabus proposed naming USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) after former United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords.[12] In connection with this controversy, United States Senator Roy Blunt added an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which required the Navy to report to Congress on how effectively it was adhering to established naming conventions.[11][12]

The resulting report, released in 2015, demonstrated a consistent tradition of naval secretaries making "occasional exceptions" to established ship-naming conventions, beginning in 1798 when Navy Secretary Benjamin Stoddert broke with naming convention by naming one of the original six frigates of the United States Navy as USS Chesapeake.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "John P Murtha (LPD 26)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Ingalls Shipbuilding Awarded U.S. Navy Contract Worth $1.5 Billion to Build Company's 10th San Antonio-Class Amphibious Transport Dock". Huntington Ingalls Industries. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Navy to Commission Amphibious Transport Dock John P. Murtha" (Press release). U.S. Department of Defense. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "USS John P. Murtha: Ship Crest". U.S. Navy. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Quach,, Hoa (11 February 2016). "San Diego to Be Homeport for New USS John P. Murtha". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Chinara, Lucas (23 April 2010). "SECNAV Announces Name of LPD 26, USS Murtha" (Press release). Navy News Service. NNS100423-10. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Havens, April M. (6 June 2012). "Ingalls Shipbuilding authenticates keel on LPD 26 John P. Murtha". The Mississippi Press. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Clary, Gareth (30 October 2014). "Watch Ingalls Shipbuilding launch America's next amphibious transport dock John P. Murtha (LPD 26)". GulfLive.com. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ingalls Shipbuilding Launched Amphibious Transport Dock John P. Murtha (LPD 26)". 2 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Ingalls Shipbuilding Christens Amphibious Transport Dock John P. Murtha (LPD 26)" (Press release). Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). 21 March 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Robins, Gary (8 December 2011). "Naming of warships causing dissent in Congress". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c Olson, Wyatt (19 June 2015). "From Hope to Giffords: The Navy's long history of unconventional ship names". Stars and Stripes (newspaper). Retrieved 23 October 2015. 

External links[edit]

  • Priolo, Gary P. (28 November 2011). "USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26)". Amphibious Photo Archive. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 10 June 2012.