Thursday, September 09, 2004
Navy Honors Sept. 11 by Naming New Ships for Arlington and Somerset
The future USS Arlington and USS Somerset will join USS New York as living tributes to those who suffered in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to the nation.
Arlington was chosen to honor the city and county in northern Virginia, and especially, the 184 victims, aboard American Airlines Flight 77, and on the ground, who died during the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.
Two previous vessels have been named Arlington. The first was a steel-hulled C1B type cargo ship operating during World War II. The second USS Arlington was a 14,500-ton major communications relay ship, originally commissioned in July 1946, which saw heavy use during the Vietnam War, including helping with communications during a June 1969 conference between U.S. President Nixon and Republic of Vietnam President Thieu.
The 684-foot-long amphibious transport dock ships will be built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in New Orleans and will each carry a Navy crew of 363 and 699 Marines. The ships will be used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked air cushions or conventional landing craft or amphibious vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical take off and landing aircraft in amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions.