The U.S. Navy San Antonio class amphibious transport dock, USS San Antonio (LPD 17) began sea trials following a three-year Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) maintenance availability, on Feb. 29.
The short underway will be the first time San Antonio has been underway since February of 2017. During sea trials, San Antonio will undergo multiple training scenarios for each department designed to evaluate the performance of the ship after an extensive maintenance period at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).
“I am so incredibly proud of our Sailors,” said Captain Brent C. Gaut, commanding officer of USS San Antonio. “Our men and women are the heart and soul of our warship. They have given, time and again, everything they have to put our warship back to sea, where she belongs. Today starts the next phase of our journey, where we shape ourselves into a battle-minded crew, breathing life into a combat-ready ship ready to win the fight.”
“I’m anxious to get out to sea. I’ve been studying and training to get a better understanding of what I’m supposed to do while at sea and now I have the opportunity to apply what I’ve been learning,” said Operations Specialist Seaman Gayvin Ford.
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) is the lead ship of her class of amphibious transport dock [or landing platform dock (LPD)] ships operated by the U.S. Navy. She is the first U.S. Navy ship to be named for the city of San Antonio, Texas.
The vessel was built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in New Orleans, the 684-foot, 25,000-ton vessel was launched on July 12, 2003, and christened one week later. She was commissioned on 14 January 2006, at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas.
The San Antonio-class ships replaced the Austin-class LPDs (including Cleveland and Trenton sub-classes), as well as the Newport-class tank landing ships, and the Charleston-class amphibious cargo ships that have already been retired. A total of eleven San Antonio-class ships are already delivered.
The San Antonio-class ships are currently being built at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division. Ingalls has two more under construction. Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28) will launch in 2020 and deliver in 2021; the keel for Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29) was laid earlier this year.
LPD 28 and LPD 29 will serve as transition ships to LPD 30, the first ship of the LPD 17 Flight II class, which was developed for the U.S. Navy’s LX(R)-class amphibious warfare ship program.