Secretary of the Navy names amphibious transport dock ship the USS Harrisburg

HARRISBURG — Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer named the next San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, LPD 30, in honor of Harrisburg, the Navy announced Thursday.

“The people of central Pennsylvania have always played a critical role in forging the strength of our Navy and fighting to defend our nation,” said Spencer at a ceremony Thursday. “The future USS Harrisburg will carry on this legacy to every part of the world.”

LPD 30 will be the second U.S. Navy vessel named after the city of Harrisburg, according to the Navy. The first was a troopship acquired by the Navy during World War I that served in commission from May 29, 1918 to September 25, 1919.

That ship also served with the Navy in the Spanish-American War under another name, the Navy said.

In addition to being the capital of Pennsylvania, the Harrisburg-Carlisle metropolitan statistical area is home to a number of Department of Defense facilities, including the Naval Support Activity in Mechanicsburg.

During the Civil War, Camp Curtin, located in what is now the uptown area of the city, served as the largest camp during the conflict, with over 300,000 enlistments passing through its gates.

San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups.  LPD 30 will be the first Flight II San Antonio class ship, serving as the functional replacement for the aging LSD 41/49 Whidbey Island class ships.

The ship provides the Department of the Navy with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable and built to operate with modern-day transformational platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey and amphibious assault vehicles.

The USS Harrisburg will be constructed at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, according to the Navy.

The ship will be 684 feet long, have a beam length of 105 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 22 knots.

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