The U.S. Navy christened its newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA-7), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi on Sept. 16.
Lynne Mabus, the wife of the 75th Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, served as the sponsor of the ship. The ceremony was highlighted by Mabus breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition.
Thomas Dee, performing the duties of the undersecretary of the Navy, delivered the ceremony’s principal address.
Tripoli is the third U.S. Navy ship named for the Battle of Derne in 1805. It was the decisive victory of a mercenary army led by a detachment of United States Marines and soldiers against the forces of Tripoli during the First Barbary War. It was the first recorded land battle of the United States fought overseas.
The USS Tripoli, the second of its class, is 844 feet in length, have a displacement of approximately 45,000 long tons and is capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.
The design of Tripoli features an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity. The ship will also be the first LHA replacement ship to deliver fully ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the United States Marine Corps to include the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
It will also incorporate a gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution and fuel-efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on the USS Makin Island.
Tripoli was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding (a division of Northrop Grumman Corporation) at the company’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Fabrication of ship components began in July 2013, and the ship’s keel was laid in a ceremony on 20 June 2014 in Pascagoula.