By KRISTEN SZYDLOSKI, APG NewsOctober 8, 2009
The nation recognized and remembered the horrific terrorist attacks on American soil on Sept. 11 by honoring the state of New York, the city of New York and the victims and the first responders of the attacks on the World Trade Center by commissioning the USS New York.
On Sept. 7, 2002, then Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, announced that a ship of the new San Antonio-class Amphibious Transport Dock Ships will be named New York.
"USS New York will project American power to the far corners of the earth and support the cause of freedom well into the twenty first century," England said. "From the war of independence through the War on Terrorism which we wage today, the courage and heroism of the people of New York have been an inspiration."
With 7.5 tons of salvaged steel from the rubble of the World Trade Center crafted into the ship's bow stem and 24 tons of salvaged steel used in total, the New York (LPD 21) will be commissioned on Nov. 7 where it will officially be given the name USS New York. The ship's motto, 'Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget,' symbolizes the strength and determination of the people of New York.
"This name memorializes all the heroes of September eleventh, especially the firemen, policemen, emergency service personnel and all the victims of September eleventh and their Families. We must remember the fallen as they would have wanted to be remembered - living in freedom as Americans," England said.
Warship New York (LPD 21) will show reverence and pay tribute to those who survived creating an everlasting bond between the nation, the people of New York, the ship and her crew. Warships, in the San Antonio-class LPDs, Arlington and Somerset will also be constructed out of salvaged materials from the Pentagon and United Flight 93.
"USS New York will ensure that all New Yorkers and the world will never forget the evil attacks of September eleventh, and the courage and compassion New Yorkers showed in response to terror," said George Pataki, 53rd Governor of New York.
After careful inspection of the salvaged steel from the World Trade Center, it was melted down and used to build New York (LPD 21). Construction began in June 2003. The warship was built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems at the Avondale Operations Shipyard in New Orleans, La.
"We're very proud that the twisted steel from the World Trade Center Towers will soon be used to forge an even stronger national defense," Pataki said. "The USS New York will soon be defending freedom and combating terrorism around the globe."
According to Capt. Bill Galinis, LPD 17-class program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office for Ships, "This ship will be a symbol. The Navy and the ship builder have worked hand-in-hand to deliver this highly capable warship to the Navy and our nation."
The New York (LPD 21) first entered the seas on June 27, 2009, and passed all trials of the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. Then, on Aug. 21, the Navy officially accepted the future USS New York from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. After being commissioned on Nov. 7, her homeport will be Norfolk, Va.
These ships will be used to transport and land Marines, equipment and supplies by embarked air cushion 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.
Smart, strong and versatile, the state-of-the-art newest entry into the U.S. Navy's fleet of San Antonio-class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) warships, including the New York (LPD 21) will replace older amphibious landing craft and functionally replace 41 ships.
"The LPD 17-class represents a revolution in amphibious ship design. These ships provide a much needed capability for our country and our Navy-Marine Corps team," Galinis said.
Ships included in the LPD warship class include; USS San Antonio (LPD 17), Norfolk, Va.; USS New Orleans (LPD 18), San Diego, Ca.; USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), Norfolk, Va.; USS Green Bay (LPD 20), San Diego, Ca.; New York (LPD 21), Norfolk, Va.; San Diego (LPD 22), under construction; Anchorage (LPD 23), under construction; Arlington (LPD 24), under construction; and Somerset (LPD 25), under construction.
"The newest amphibious combat ship in the Navy's arsenal, USS New York," England said, "will stand for life, liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it. It will take terror to the terrorist."
(Editor's note: Author is a U.S. Army Element, Assembled Weapons Alternatives local intern working with APG News.)