USS New York (LPD 21): First Responder - Strength Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget

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Strength Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget.


Dear Friends and Family,

It is truly an honor and a privilege to bring this magnificent warship to New York for her commissioning and to “bring her to life.” The commissioning of a naval vessel is traditionally a time of celebration, the welcoming of a new ship and its crew, to the fleet. This ceremony marks the culmination of much hard work and is a symbol of our great national pride and steadfast resolve. Today’s events capture these things, but also encapsulate so much more. Specifically, this commissioning is also a homecoming, a chance for each of us to bring NEW YORK home and introduce her to all New Yorkers. September 11, 2001, will forever be a day that stands in the minds of those who experienced it. On that day, all the citizens of the United States became New Yorkers, and our country was transformed. An act that was meant to tear us apart and show our weakness brought us together as a nation and made us stronger. With 7.5 tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center site and forged into the bow of this ship, the crew of USS NEW YORK will ensure that the world will never forget that day. The spirit of those who have gone before us inspire us each day. We draw strength from their sacrifice and have placed the mantle of their memory upon our shoulders. Today, Mrs. Dotty England will help commission NEW YORK with the words, “Man our ship and bring her to life.” This moment is the product of several years of planning and dedicated effort by many great Americans. The shipbuilders of Northrop Grumman persevered in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav to complete this very special ship built to carry the Navy-Marine Corps team well into the 21st century. Many of those shipbuilders, as well as the Navy’s support team, made significant sacrifices to continue production, in order to get us here today. My heartfelt thanks to them, for their hard work and dedication and to so many more, who were vital in completing this effort that we now know as NEW YORK. Additionally, a specific group of people have been relentless in their labors to make this day both a reality and a success. We could not have reached this moment without the personal support of Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg. The Commissioning Committee, led by Mr. Robert “Woody” Johnson and RADM(ret) Robert Ravitz, have strived for years to bring this day to fruition. All of their work and support is humbly appreciated. The Navy specifically selected the members of the crew before you today for the unique responsibilities and challenges of pre-commissioning duty. NEW YORK sailors are smart, hard-working and enthusiastic, and they have done a magnificent job in preparing her for fleet service. Each crew member has their own story as to how they became part of the NEW YORK team. I encourage you to talk to them, to find out why they have joined, why they are here and why they serve. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them! After commissioning, NEW YORK will take her place in the fleet and serve for 40 years as a roving ambassador and symbol of American technological prowess, industrial might, security personified and dreams fulfilled. Thank you for joining us to celebrate the commissioning of this great warship and to commemorate those who have gone before us. Strength Forged through Sacrifice. Never Forget. F.C. Jones CDR, USN


USS NEW YORK Strength Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget. CommissionING NOVEMBER 7, 2009

contributing writers............................................................................................................... 22 Commanding officer................................................................................................................ 29 executive officer........................................................................................................................ 31 command master chief.......................................................................................................... 33 dorothy hennlein england................................................................................................ 34 uss new York Sponsor official sponsors......................................................................................................................... 36 USS new york commissioning committee............................................................... 39 mark of warriors......................................................................................................................... 41 By Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo, USNR (Ret.)

USS NEW YORK: A NEW SHIP, A NEW MISSION, A NEW RESOLVE.............................. 44 By Arthur Herman

new york, new york.................................................................................................................... 58 By Bob McManus

the main battery........................................................................................................................... 60 By Col. Gary J. Ohls, USMCR (Ret.) and Lt. Col. David F. Overton, USMC (Ret.)

uss new york well deck and flight deck ops..................................................... 68 By Mark D. Faram

building uss new york.............................................................................................................. 80 Pride Overcomes Construction Challenges By Edward L. Winter

a ship, a state, a city, and its people............................................................................ 90 By Doug Tsuruoka

the way ahead for america’s sea services............................................................ 98 A Strategy for the 21st Century By Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo, USNR (Ret.)

EXPEDITIONARY WARFARE COMES OF AGE IN WORLD WAR II................................ 110 By George Daughan

the legacy of the ships new york...............................................................................124 By James L. Nelson

The History of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Relationship And its Impact on Amphibious Warfare................................................................................132 By Col. Gary J. Ohls, USMCR (Ret.)

the navy and new york city.............................................................................................. 144 By Richard H. Wagner

Silver Wedded to Steel: A Tradition Carries on in USS New York (LPD 21).................................................156

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

By Colin E. Babb

A History of the New York Council............................................................................. 162 Navy League of the United States By Richard H. Wagner

Shipbuilder: An Interview with Mike Petters, President of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding................................................. 171 By John D. Gresham and Susan L. Kerr

plankowners.................................................................................................................................. 177

USS New York LPD 21

contributing writers Colin Babb Colin Babb is a senior writer with Naval Air Systems Command, and he previously served for more than six years as an associate editor for U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings and Naval History magazines. He is currently working on his doctorate in military history at the University of Maryland in College Park. email: Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo, USNR (Ret.) Rear Adm. Callo’s latest book, John Paul Jones: America’s First Sea Warrior, earned the Naval Order’s Samuel Eliot Morison Award. He has also written three books about Adm. Lord Nelson and was U.S. editor for Who’s Who in Naval History. He writes frequently on naval subjects for magazines and newspapers. Callo is a Yale University NROTC graduate, and he earned a Surface Warfare designation during two years of sea duty in the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Amphibious Force. He was a senior advertising agency executive and a producer for NBC-TV and PBS programs. He earned a Peabody Award as line producer for the NBC-TV prime time program, “Tut: The Boy King,” and a Telly Award for his script “The Second Life of 20 West Ninth,” which aired on the History Channel and PBS. He is a Naval History magazine Author of the Year. email: George Daughan George Daughan holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He spent three years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War and was an instructor at the Air Force Academy. Subsequently, he taught at the University of Colorado, the University of New Hampshire, Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College. He is the author most recently of: If By Sea: The Forging of the American Navy From the Revolution to the War of 1812, for which he received the Samuel Eliot Morison Award from the Naval Order of the United States. email: Mark Faram Mark Faram is currently the senior staff writer and the Hampton Roads Bureau Chief for the Navy Times. His assignments have taken him on board scores of U.S. Navy operating units, including USS San Antonio, the first of the Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD)-class ships. His interests include researching and writing about the lives and history of those in the Navy and he has published a book entitled Faces of War – The Untold Story of Edward Steichen’s World War II Photographers. Faram served on active duty in the Navy for nine years as a photographer’s mate and as a diver, second class, and he continues to apply his special combination of writing and photographic skills in his work. He is a graduate of the Military Photojournalism Program at Syracuse University. email: John D. Gresham John D. Gresham lives in Fairfax, Va. He is an author, researcher, game designer, photographer, and military commentator with numerous publishing, design, speaking, and television appearance credits in his portfolio. He was the primary researcher and partner to Tom Clancy on his best-selling series of non-fiction “guided tour” books about military units. These include Submarine (1993), Armored Cav (1994), Fighter Wing (1995), Marine (1996), Airborne (1997), Carrier (1999), and Special Forces (2001), all published by Berkley Books. His book DEFCON-2 (with Norman Polmar), a new single-volume history of the Cuban missile crisis, was published in 2006. His latest book, Beyond Hell and Back (October 2007, with Dwight Zimmerman), describes seven key U.S. special operations missions. email: Arthur Herman Arthur Herman has authored five books. His latest, Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age (2008), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His previous book, Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World (2004), moved him to the forefront of American naval historians and was a U.S. and Canadian best-seller. How the Scots Invented the Modern World (2001), a New York Times best-seller, sold a half-million copies. His military analyses appeared in Commentary, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Wall Street Journal Asia. His Commentary article predicting the success of the Iraq surge circulated at senior Pentagon and White House levels, while his article, “Who Owns The Vietnam War?”, was featured in a public discussion with Henry Kissinger at the New York Historical Society. He has been commentator on military matters on major network television news programs. email:


LPD 21 USS New York

Bob McManus Bob McManus has lived in Buffalo, Binghamton, Albany, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. He is editorial page editor of The New York Post and a Cold War veteran of the U.S. Navy’s submarine service. email: James L. Nelson James L. Nelson was born and grew up in Lewiston, Maine, and after working in the television industry for two years he ran away to sea, sailing aboard reproductions of three famous ships of the Age of Sail: Golden Hind, Lady Washington and HMS Rose. In 1994, Nelson finished By Force of Arms, his first book, and married former shipmate Lisa Page. They now live in Harpswell, Me., with their four children. Nelson has written 14 books, both fiction and nonfiction. His novel Glory in the Name was the 2004 winner of the American Library Association/William Young Boyd Award for best Military Fiction and his latest nonfiction work, George Washington’s Secret Navy was selected for the 2009 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval History. He is a graduate of UCLA Film School. Noted author Patrick O’Brian described Nelson as “a master of both his period and the English language.” email: Col. Gary J. Ohls, USMCR (Ret.) Gary Ohls currently serves as associate professor of Joint Maritime Operations in the Naval War College Program at the Naval Post Graduate School. He received a Ph.D. in history from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, holds three master’s degrees, and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I. Prior to his current assignment, Professor Ohls served as a member of the Maritime History Department at the Naval War College in Newport. Colonel Ohls served 35 years in the United States Marine Corps, including duty as an enlisted man, regular officer, reserve officer, and reserve officer on active duty. During this service, he performed in both command and staff positions at various locations worldwide and at sea. Additionally, he has worked in management positions with Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Aerospace Corporation. email: Lt. Col. David F. Overton, USMC (Ret.) David F. Overton, MS, is associate professor of Joint Maritime Operations at the U.S. Naval War College in Monterey, Calif., and adjunct faculty for the Marine Corps University Command and Staff College Distance Education Program. He served 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps; four years as an enlisted electronics technician and 22 years as a Naval Flight Officer in the EA-6B Prowler aircraft. He has more than 2,000 flight hours, with 250 hours logged in air combat operations. He and his wife, Susanne, are both Norwalk, Conn., natives. He is a retired lieutenant colonel and now resides in Monterey with his wife. email: Doug Tsuruoka Doug Tsuruoka is a former foreign correspondent who has worked for Newsweek, the Far Eastern Economic Review, AP-Dow Jones News Service and other publications. He is currently an editor at Investor’s Business Daily. A native New Yorker, Tsuruoka spent his early years editing community papers in Brooklyn. He also worked on the staff of the New York State Assembly and the New York City Board of Correction. He graduated from Harvard College and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. email: Richard Wagner Richard Wagner is a writer and photographer specializing in ships and history. He is the editor of The Log, the official journal of the Navy League of the United States, New York Council and publishes, which is devoted to ships and naval history. His articles have also appeared in The Supreme Court Historical Society Quarterly, the World Ship Society Porthole, the Journal of Supreme Court History, and the New York Law Journal Magazine. Mr. Wagner holds degrees from Cornell University, John G. Hagan School of Business and Pace University School of Law. He also studied law at Cambridge University. A member of the New York bar, he was Senior Litigation Counsel for Verizon and appeared regularly before the federal and New York courts. He is an officer and director of the New York Council of the Navy League and a member of the Naval Order of the United States. email: Edward L. Winter Edward Winter, APR, is manager of communications for the Avondale Facility of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding – Gulf Coast. He has worked at the Avondale shipyard in the New Orleans area, where USS New York (LPD 21) was built, for nearly 25 years in various positions in employee relations, public affairs, public relations, and communications. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of the University of New Orleans, Winter is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and a member of the International Association of Business Communicators and the Press Club of New Orleans. He is also a board member of the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce and Raintree Children Services. He resides in the New Orleans area with his wife of 25 years, Yolanda, and the couple has one daughter, Emily. email:


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Strength Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget.

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Contributing Writers Colin Babb, Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo USNR (Ret.), George Daughan, Mark Faram, John D. Gresham, Arthur Herman, Robert McManus, James L. Nelson, Col. Gary J. Ohls, USMCR (Ret.), Lt. Col. David F. Overton, USMC (Ret.), Doug Tsuruoka, Richard Wagner, Edward L. Winter Editorial Director Charles Oldham Consulting Editor Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo USNR (Ret.) Senior Editor Ana E. Lopez Editors Rhonda Carpenter Iwalani Kahikina Assistant Editor Steven Hoarn Art Director Robin K. McDowall Design and Production Rebecca Laborde Daniel Mrgan Lorena Noya Kenia Y. Perez Production Assistant Lindsey Brooks Editorial Intern Stephanie Whitehall Sales Support Joshua J. Roberts Office Administrator Aisha Shazer

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LPD 21 USS New York

Commander F. Curtis Jones Commanding Officer Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones was born and raised in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He has most recently been on the staff of the Naval Personnel Command (NPC) as deputy director of Surface Warfare Officer Distribution. While attached to NPC, he deployed to Afghanistan and became part of Joint Task Force Paladin, the counter-improvised explosive device team. He previously served as executive officer of USS Coronado (AGF 11), the flagship of the Commander, Third Fleet based in San Diego. Prior to duty on USS Coronado, Jones was assigned to the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) in Omaha, Neb., as an emergency actions officer and later became aide-de-camp for the Deputy Commander, USSTRATCOM. Jones’ previous sea duty included the pre-commissioning crew of USS Bataan (LHD 5), both in Pascagoula, Miss., and Norfolk, Va., and as chief engineer for USS Cleveland (LPD 7), homeported in San Diego. There he received the Surface Navy Association’s Arleigh Burke Award for operational excellence. His initial sea assignment was in 1989 on the USS San Jose (AFS 7), homeported in Guam. From 1989 to 1993 he made deployments to the Western Pacific and the Middle East, including Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. A 1989 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, Jones received his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps at MIT. He earned a master’s degree in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he was active in student government and served a term as chairman of the Officer Student Advisory Committee. Jones’ personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and the Army Achievement Medal.


LPD 21 USS New York

Commander Erich Schmidt Executive Officer Cmdr. Erich Schmidt was most recently on the staff of the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command as the current readiness officer. He previously served as chief of staff for Maritime Pre-positioning Ship Squadron One, forward-deployed to the Mediterranean. Prior to duty with the squadron, Schmidt was assigned to the Operational Test and Evaluation Force Command in Norfolk, Va., as the operational test director for the Navy’s newest amphibious ship type, the San Antonio class. Previous sea duty included USS Sides (FFG 14), homeported in San Diego, where he served as operations officer. During that tour, the Sides was awarded the “Battle E” award for operational excellence on a deployment to the Western Pacific in support of a readiness and training exercise with five allied navies. He later served as operations officer in USS Austin (LPD 4), homeported in Norfolk. In 1997, Schmidt was assigned to the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Pacific in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor in amphibious warfare, where he qualified as a master training specialist. Schmidt’s initial sea assignment in 1992 was with the USS South Carolina (CGN 37), aboard which he deployed to the Mediterranean and Adriatic in support of peace-keeping operations in Bosnia. In 1995 he served on the staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five, where he was supporting arms coordinator and assistant operations officer, deploying to the Western Pacific and the Arabian Gulf. Schmidt graduated from the University of Arizona in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, receiving his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. He earned a master’s degree in educational technology in 2004 from Troy State University. Schmidt’s personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and numerous campaign and unit citations.


LPD 21 USS New York

CMDCM(SW) Robert W. Stocklin Command Master Chief CMDCM(SW) Robert W. Stocklin has served on active duty for 28 years. Stocklin’s most recent assignment was command master chief of Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tenn. He was previously command master chief of USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), homeported in Pascagoula. Prior to serving in USS John L. Hall, he was CMC of USS Portland (LSD 37), during which time he deployed with Amphibious Task Force East, landing Marines in the Gulf Region in advance of the initial air strikes at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Previous sea duty included USS Inchon (MCS 12), where he served as legal officer and force protection officer; USS Detroit (AOE 4), where he was legal officer; and USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), where he served in the legal department. Stocklin entered active service in 1981 at the Great Lakes, Ill., Recruit Training Center, receiving yeoman training at “A” School prior to reporting to USS Peterson (DD 969) in 1982. He earned a legalman rating, attended Naval Justice School, and served in the staff judge advocate’s office in Newport, R.I. He is a native of Philadelphia, Pa. Other shore assignments included a Naval Legal Service Office Detachment in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, R.I. Stocklin’s personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and the Good Conduct Medal (five awards).


USS New York LPD 21

Dorothy Hennlein England USS New York Sponsor With a firm two-handed swing, the bottle shattered and the Champagne sprayed over the bow of a ship with a unique place in history from her very beginning. The future USS New York’s sponsor, Dotty England, spoke the essential words: “In honor of the city, the state, and the people of New York and in the name of the United States of America, I christen thee New York. May God bless this ship and all who sail in her.” With the words of that time-honored naval ceremony, including the accompanying expression of hope for the safety of those who defend our country on and from the sea, the wife of then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England brought a new ship another significant step closer to becoming an official part of the United States Navy. With her words, England was leading a traditional observance that has been an essential step in making a ship an official unit of the United States Navy since the nation’s founding more than two centuries ago. In this instance it was a ship with a very special link to 9-11 and New Yorkers. Following the ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Avondale, La., she added a personal note: “For me it is a humbling and profound honor to represent the victims, their families, and the heroes of 9-11, the people of New York, and all Americans in sponsoring this ship. Navy tradition says that during christening the ship receives the spirit of the sponsor. But with this unique ship, we now give it not only my spirit but the spirit of the 9/11 heroes, the spirit of New Yorkers, and the indomitable American spirit. We will keep that same spirit in our hearts and minds forever. … We will never forget our heroes and their loved ones, and we will never forget all those who stand on watch today to preserve our freedoms and liberties.” England is a native of Maryland and is a proud resident of Fort Worth, Texas. She and her husband met when they were students at the University of Maryland, and they were married in the campus chapel. She and former Secretary England have three grown children and three grandchildren. During her husband’s service in Washington, she divided her time between Texas and Virginia and took an active interest in community and cultural affairs in both


locations. While her husband was serving two separate tours as Secretary of the Navy during 4.5 between 2001 and 2006, she devoted her time to the families of the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps, with particular emphasis on their housing, medical care, and the other special needs of our U.S. Navy and Marine Corps families. Presently she is enjoying activities with her extended family, traveling, and participating in community activities in Fort Worth. As part of her role as the sponsor of USS New York, Mrs. England also focused on the well-being of the shipyard workers who were part of the ship’s construction team. She pointed out that those workers, many of whom had their homes destroyed and their families dispersed by Hurricane Katrina, had “remained undaunted in carrying out the important work of building not only a ship, but a tribute to the spirit of America and to the spirit of New York.” In 2003, Mrs. England participated in the ceremonial pouring of 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center Twin Towers to form USS New York’s bow stem. She also officiated over the keel laying of the ship in 2004. When asked to describe her role as the sponsor of USS New York. Mrs. England put strong emphasis on the future: “While part of USS New York’s motto is ‘Never Forget,’ it’s very important to think in terms of this ship’s future and her important role in the defense of the United States. The men and women of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps who will go to sea in USS New York embody the first half of the ship’s motto: ‘Strength Forged through Sacrifice,’ and they deserve every bit of support we can give them in the coming days and years. They are the best our nation has to offer, and they will be involved in difficult and at times dangerous tasks, and I will do my part in seeing that they continue to get the support they need and deserve.” The last lines of that promise reflect the final part of the traditional role of a ship’s sponsor: remain in contact with the ship’s crew in the future.

USS New York LPD 21

official sponsors The USS New York Commissioning Committee would like to express appreciation for the generous support of corporations, foundations, other organizations and individuals. Listed by level of giving, they include:

ADMIRAL City of New York Edelman Robert Wood Johnson IV, Owner and Chairman, New York Jets Merrill Lynch New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets COMMODORE INTREPID Sea, Air and Space Museum New York Yankees North American Airlines CAPTAIN Conde Nast New York Yacht Club Tiffany & Co. COLONEL Campbell-Ewald Advertising DeVito Fitterman Advertising Interpublic Group Navy League of the United States, New York Council New York Post Port Authority of New York and New Jersey September 11th Families’ Association COMMANDER American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) American Defense Systems, Inc. Rear Adm. Joseph Callo, USNR (Ret.) and Capt. Sally McElwreath Callo, USN (Ret.) DRS Technologies, Inc. Fairbanks Morse Engine Gryphon Technologies Hess Companies


Home Box Office (HBO) L-3 Communications Corporation Mutual of America Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Rolls-Royce Naval Marine, Inc. Florence and Robert A. Rosen Foundation Treadwell Corporation MASTER CHIEF American Legion Post 754, New York Athletic Club ASCO Power Technologies Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Benaroya Dunkin’ Donuts Faircount Media Group H&H Bagels New York Community Bank Foundation Northrop Grumman Information Systems Mr. and Mrs. Erik Olstein Juliette and Frank Reidy SERGEANT MAJOR Diageo Lt. and Mrs. Norman Keller, USNR (Ret.) Mr. and Mrs. David Molloy Overseas Military Sales Corporation Sandy Hook Pilots Sperry Marine Northrop Grumman Matt Wilson – Insite Media, LLC PETTY OFFICER Ms. Pauline Brown Fleet Reserve Association, Northeast Region Fund, Erie, Pa. Knights of Columbus, Cavallero Council, Brooklyn, N.Y. Mr. Scott Koen The Wolkowski Family

LPD 21 USS New York

SHIPMATE American Legion, St. Stanislaus Memorial Post 1771, Brooklyn, N.Y. Mr. Kenneth Anderson, USNR (Ret.) Mr. Arthur S. Bookbinder Ms. Martha Duncan and Ms. Maggie Thompson EWA Technologies, Inc. Fleet Reserve Association Branch 115, Bethlehem, Pa. Albert Fried & Company, LLC Mr. and Mrs. F. Thomas Jones Mr. Timothy Jones Mr. Michael A. Kling Mr. J. Robert Lunney Mr. Michael Luper Mrs. Marilyn McLellan Marine Corps League, ET Brisson Detachment, Naples, Fla. Marine Corps League – Troy, New York Detachment Naval Reserve Association, ENS James Burke Chapter, Larchmont, N.Y. Omni Financial Mr. Raymond Saleeby Mr. Kevin Wensing NEW YORK CREW MEMBER Mr. William Adelaar American Legion, Board of Education Post 1088, Bronx, N.Y. American Legion, Dan O’Connell Post 272 American Legion, Patrick J. Salessio Post 1310, Staten Island, N.Y. American Legion, Samuel H. Young Post American Legion Watkins-Kellett Post 277, Staten Island, N.Y. Capt. Robert S. Bazan, USN Mr. Bryan Birch Catholic War Veterans Post 1934, Staten Island, N.Y. Catholic War Veterans, Eugene L. Kelley Post 1937, Pine Bush, N.Y. Capt. Matthew Coffey, USNR (Ret.) Commander, Naval Enlisted Reserve Association 3rd District COMSACO, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Donald P. Dillon Mr. Bernard Eldredge Mr. John Festa Fleet Reserve Association Branch 226, Staten Island, N.Y. Fleet Reserve Association, Long Island Branch 071 Fleet Reserve Association, James R. Smith, RVPNE FRA, NERA, AL, Scranton, Pa. Mrs. Antonia Fontana Mr. Timothy Forbes Radioman 1st Class Richard K. Hadley, USN (Ret.) Mr. John M. Harrington Joe Buff Incorporated Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 171, Brooklyn, N.Y. Korean War Veterans Association, Rockland County

Korean War Veterans, Central Long Island Chapter Ladies Auxiliary, FRA Northeast, Manchester, N.J. Ladies Auxiliary, FRA Unit 124, Lakehurst, N.J. Ladies Auxiliary, FRA Unit 226 Dr. and Mrs. Michael Langan Marine Corps League, Catskill Detachment Masonic War Veterans Post 6, Staten Island, N.Y. Mr. James V. Mazzone, Sr. Mr. Albert Menendez Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, USS Briarcliff Chapter, Staten Island, N.Y. Nicholas & Lence Communications LLC Northeast New York State Chapter of the Chosin Few, Inc. Mr. Jose Noyes Mr. Benedict P. Reyes Mr. John Reynolds Ms. Melissa S. Ryan Mr. and Mrs. Sanderson Mr. Phillip Sattler Ms. Kathleen Shear Mr. Larry Slack Mr. Andres Tous United Staten Island Veterans Organization Veterans of Foreign Wars, Argonne Marine Park Post 107, Brooklyn, N.Y. Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ridgewood Post 123 Mr. Benedict J. Vilardo Mr. and Mrs. Viviano Mr. Russell Warshay Ms. Alice White Mr. Adrienne Zysman

FRIENDS Anheuser-Busch AT&T Empire State Building Genpak Gray Line New York Hard Rock Cafe New York I Love NY L&B Spumoni Gardens McDonald’s Mini Cards NYC Modell’s Sporting Goods NYC & Company New Yorker Hotel New York Marriott Downtown New York Marriott Marquis PepsiCo Planet Hollywood Silverstein Properties Starbright Floral Designs Toys”R”Us


LPD 21 USS New York

USS NEW YORK COMMISSIONING COMMITTEE SPONSOR Dorothy Hennlein England CHAIRMAN Robert Wood Johnson IV CO-CHAIRMAN & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Rear Adm. Robert A. Ravitz, USN (Ret.) VICE-CHAIRMEN Matthew J. Harrington Merrill Lynch Harold Z. Steinbrenner DIRECTOR Capt. Sally C. McElwreath, USN (Ret.) FINANCE Peter D. Galasinao Richard T. Kenney Project Coordinator Peter A. Wolkowski WORKING COMMITTEES Fund Raising: Erik K. Olstein, Chairman. Joseph Benaroya, Senior Chief James E. Brown, USN (Ret.), BMCM(SW) Eugene Culligan, USN (Ret.), The Hon. Steven S. Honigman, Councilwoman Sheila Marcotte, Special Events: Jenna Marrone, Chairwoman. Christopher Hughes, Kerri Giovanelli Crew/Family Event Coordination: Jenna Marrone and Donald H. Rullman Sr., co-chairs., Larry Bamberger, Ira Goldberg, John Romanovsky Media: Christopher Mittendorf Web site: JOC Kerry E. Smith, USNR (Ret.), James Barker, Merrilly Noeth Sponsor Relations: John R. Dillard, Chairman. Peter A. Wolkowski Government Liaison: Capt. Christopher P. Boylan, USN (Ret.) INTREPID Sea, Air & Space Museum Liaison: Lisa Yaconiello Internal Ship Theme: Capt. Frank Pascual, USN Advertising: Anthony DeVito Gifts: Richard H. Wagner Committee Members Jennifer Adams, Rob Binns, Lt. Col. Robert Black, NYNM, Bryan Birch, Larry Brennan, Lu Caldara, Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo, USNR (Ret.), Phil Crosland, Chris DeVito, Joan Donovan, Linda Federici, Steven Forsyth, Robert Haggerty, Matthew Higgins, The Hon. John G. Ingram, Ross Jobson, Jonathan Jones, Clarice Joynes, William Kraus, Lee Ielpi, The Hon. Vincent I. Leibell, Steve Loevsky, J. Robert Lunney, James Mazzone, Debbi McCallam, James D. McDonough, Capt. Andrew McGovern, Capt. Henry Mahlmann, Jack McDermott, Roger Newman, Richard Othmer, Rear Adm. Robert A. Rosen, NYNM, Ralph Slane, Kenneth Sparks, Thomas Spina, Dr. Daniel M. Thys, MD, Capt. Kevin Wensing, USN (Ret.), Ken Winkler. Navy Commissioning Coordinator William Huesmann Commissioning Protocol Janice Comber


LPD 21 USS New York

MARK OF WARRIORS By Rear Adm. Joseph Callo, USNR (Ret.)

It was a warm, crystal clear morning on March 1, 2008, as guests gathered at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Avondale, La. They were at the shipyard for the christening of USS New York (LPD 21). There was a special anticipation in the air that you could feel. The speeches and the music – punctuated regularly by heartfelt applause – moved briskly. As the ship rode comfortably at her mooring lines, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead distilled her mission into a few words: “to be globally positioned and to take the fight forward.” Then came the climax. New York’s sponsor Dotty Hennlein England gave a determined swing, shattering the Champagne bottle on the ship’s bow. Then she followed quickly with an historic declaration and an ancient blessing: “I christen thee New York. Godspeed to all who sail in her.”

A Special Mark The bow of the ship towered up and over the official party during the christening ceremony, and there were two things that were very special about that bow. The first was that it contains seven and a half tons of steel reclaimed from the World Trade Center after 9/11. The second was a small reproduction of New York’s coat of arms – generally referred to as the ship’s crest – that had been fixed to the ship’s bow for the ceremony. It’s hard to image anyone focusing on the small crest in the excitement of the moment. Few – perhaps

nobody – actually thought about its importance to the men and women who would take New York to sea. But the details of that crest are very significant. Those who will bring New York to life at the moment of commissioning in the United States Navy and those who follow them in her crew will surely shape a true character for their ship day by day. But the crest is the beginning of that process. And it will also be an ongoing reminder of how and why this special ship came to be. The tradition of the coat of arms goes back thousands of years, appearing first in Egypt, before the recorded dynasties of the pharaohs. In those dim early times, the predecessor to the coat of arms was called a “serekh,” and it was used to identify military allegiances as well as the products of different groups. The use of coats of arms for towns, families, military units, and kings and queens burgeoned during medieval times, and that usage continues today as a distinctive mark for ships of the U.S. Navy.


With thousands observing, Dotty H. England (right), ship’s sponsor, triumphantly raises the Champagne bottle she used to christen LPD 21, New York. The fifth Northrop Grumman-built amphibious transport dock ship of the San Antonio-class contains 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel in her bow. Joining England in celebration are (left to right) U.S. Navy Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones, LPD 21’s prospective commanding officer her husband, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding President Mike Petters.

Connections Toward the top of USS New York’s crest there is a cluster of elements that connect the ship with New York State and New York City. First, there are seven golden rays of light, representing the seven rays of light projecting from the crown of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. And there is a coincidence in the number of light rays and the seven seas that will be New York’s domain. Then there is a depiction of the hills and lakes of New York State, along with curved rows of maple leaves, all adapted from the official seal of New York State. Beneath the cluster of items representative of New York State and New


York City, there is a shield. Within the shield there is a gray chevron pointed upward, representing New York’s bow, which contains the steel from the Twin Towers. There also are two gray bars representing the Twin Towers. A phoenix is depicted rising from the flames of the 9/11 attack. On the phoenix’s breast there is a small shield with two drops of blood that represent the sacrifice of life of the first responders, as well as blue, red, and light blue stripes representing the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey respectively. Three stars symbolize the three battle stars earned by the battleship New York (BB 34) during the Atlantic and Pacific actions of World War II. Behind the shield there are crossed swords; one is a ceremonial sword for a U.S. Marine enlisted person and the other is a ceremonial sword for a U.S. Navy enlisted person. The crossed swords focus on the historic importance of the enlisted men and women of the Navy and the Marine Corps. They also re-

mind us of the important links between the Navy and Marine Corps. Finally, the traditional Navy colors of blue and gold are prominent in the crest, with blue representing the sea and gold symbolizing excellence.

Food for Thought The words “Never Forget” are emblazoned at the bottom of the crest. Those words are the second half of New York’s motto: “Strength Forged through Sacrifice. Never Forget.” Those six words carry a double message. There is appropriate emphasis on the importance of remembering the attack on innocent civilians on 9/11 as well as those who responded with great courage on that day, running toward danger and their duty when everyone else was running away from peril. Of equal importance, the statement is also forward looking. It reminds us of the special strength of the men and women who will take USS New York to sea – now and in the future – in defense of their country and their fellow citizens.

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

Today, and among other things, a ship’s crest reminds us of the individuality of each Navy vessel. Those ships may be manufactured in colossal shipyard “assembly lines,” they may be part of a class of similar ships, and they may frequently be ordered about in squadrons or fleets, but any sailor will tell you that each ship takes on a distinct personality all its own.

USS New York LPD 21


USS New York (LPD 21) is also about the size of a young battleship. The famous Royal Navy battleship Dreadnought and Germany’s feared Graf Spee in World War II displaced less tonnage. Her length of 684 feet is 110 feet longer than her behemoth World War II namesake, the battleship New York (BB 34). Today she arms herself with 30 mm chain guns and Rolling Airframe Missile launchers instead of 14-inch guns; and she carries a multitude of technologies that would bewilder the builders of the old battlewagon. Yet New York’s four supercharged diesel engines give her a top speed nearly twice that of comparable ships of the World War II engine era, with the smooth handling of a speedboat. USS New York is special in another way, as well. In her bow she carries 7.5 tons of steel melted down from the ruins of the World Trade Center. Everywhere she goes she will be a visible and defiant reminder of the 3,000 lives lost in the attack eight years ago on 9/11: the worst attack ever suffered on American soil. New York’s motto is “Strength Forged through Sacrifice. Never Forget.” Her mission is force projection in the 21st century. This is a ship built for action on a truly global scale. She is designed to transport and land some 800 Marines, plus their equipment and supplies, using LCAC air cushion landing craft and EFVs, or Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles, which travel as efficiently on land as they do at sea. These she can carry in her 24,000 square feet of vehicle deck space, along with an LCU (Landing Craft Utility), which can transport three M1A1 Abrams battle tanks at a time. In addition, she’ll


offer a ride to more Marines using various combinations of MV22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters, or CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, from her flight deck. Historically, the U.S. Navy’s mission has dictated the shape of every naval vessel bearing the name New York. There was the gunboat of the American Revolution that served on strategically important Lake Champlain and the frigate that protected U.S. commerce in the Mediterranean during the Quasi-War with France. There was a 74-gun ship of the line built for a Navy of wooden walls and iron men, when America sought to defend herself from possible European adversaries. There was an armored cruiser commissioned in 1893, on the eve of the building of the Panama Canal and creation of America’s first blue-water fleet. Then came the battleship New York (BB 34), which was

Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

A San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (or LPD) is an impressive sight at sea or in port. She may not have the majestic presence of a fleet aircraft carrier or the sleek lines of an Aegis destroyer. But her broad, confident bulk sits easy in the water; her massive twin masts stand proudly against the sky.

LPD 21 USS New York The future USS New York (LPD 21) during builder’s trials, a major piece of a new amphibious paradigm.

commissioned in 1917 and which served with distinction in two world wars. New York (LPD 21) is the sixth U.S. Navy ship to carry that name and fifth in her class of amphibious transport dock ships, which are an essential part of the new face of amphibious/expeditionary warfare in the 21st century. Once upon a time, amphibious/expeditionary warfare was the neglected stepchild of naval strategy. Americans have always been superb at putting fighting men into action on land from the sea. The Navy’s first major amphibious operation came during the Mexican War in 1847, when its ships landed more than 13,000 troops at Vera Cruz. It was the single largest number of American soldiers to disembark on hostile foreign soil until D-Day in World War II.

That latter war also saw the famous Marine amphibious assaults at Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Saipan, and a host of other lesser islands. And of course, the Navy and Army joined forces in the biggest and most famous amphibious attack of them all: D-Day, on June 6, 1944. A successful amphibious landing could change the course of a war, as D-Day proved, and later Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s daring landing at Inchon during the Korean War. However, unless they achieved complete surprise, these old-fashioned frontal assault landings were also highly risky. Putting large numbers of men ashore in the presence of an enemy left both men and ships exposed and vulnerable. Lengthy bombardments from naval guns or from airplanes were necessary to reduce enemy positions along the beach,


USS New York LPD 21

and to secure approaches to the beachhead. The air bombardment before the Marines stormed Iwo Jima lasted nearly six months. For three days before the final assault, five battleships steadily pounded the island at a range of less than 3,000 yards (by a strange twist of historical fate, one of those battleships was BB 34 New York). Even after that, Marines landed in a hailstorm of enemy fire that killed or wounded nearly 2,312 men in the first 18 hours. At Tarawa in 1943 less than 30 percent of the first wave of Marines even reached the beach. That entire three-day operation cost the Marine Corps 1,000 killed and 2,000 wounded – all for an island of less than 3 square miles. A year later, the first hours on Omaha Beach cost more than 3,000 men and dozens of amphibious vehicles. Things looked so bleak from Gen. Omar Bradley’s flagship USS Augusta, that he contemplated calling a halt to the entire Normandy invasion. It was not just the men in the assault waves who suffered, or the crews of the DUKWs and amphibious tractors (or amphtracs) who transported them. As they waited offshore, Navy ships were just as vulnerable. At the Vera Cruz landings in 1847, a sudden storm tore more than 20 ships loose from their anchorages and ran them aground. During landings in World War II at Salerno and Anzio, American and British ships came under constant air attack by German planes. During operations off Okinawa in 1945, no less than 26 ships were sunk by Japanese kamikazes, and another 368 damaged.


Amphibious warfare was demanding in other ways. The term implies a dual capability, meaning for use on land and at sea. However, it was hard to judge which should take precedence, and no armed service ever felt entirely at home with the notion. Naval strategy, for example, focused on the clash of fighting ships at sea; or later, on aircraft carriers, “the queen of battles,” and submarines and nuclear deterrence from under the waves. Army and Marine commanders kept their minds on what happened on the beach and farther inland; they largely took the Navy’s role as a glorified shuttle service, for granted. Organizing a major amphibious landing was an exercise in improvisation, and frustration. It meant having to come up with suitable vehicles (like the “swimming” Sherman tanks devised for D-Day, many of which sank), equipment, and tactics. It also required a sharing of resources and coordination of leadership among services with very different cultures and command structures. This ensured that things rarely, if ever, went strictly according to plan. And at every stage, one question dominated every task force commander’s mind: will the beachhead we have just taken with such a loss of lives and vehicles, hold? After all, the scene at the beachhead could be fast and furious, confusing to men and officers alike. Having to decide from scant or contradictory information whether a seemingly disastrous assault like Omaha Beach might actually be a success, could stretch a commander’s judgment to the breaking point. The heavy stakes

Photo copyright Mark D. Faram

Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCACs) – from the Norfolk, Va.-based Assault Craft Unit Four, move between the amphibious assault ship San Antonio and Onslow Beach at Camp Lejeune, N.C., as the ship offloaded Marines and their equipment after its seven-month inaugural deployment to the Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa. The amazing LCACs, which “fly” over water and land, are one leg of LPD 21’s “amphibious triad.”

LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John K. Hamilton

An HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Tridents” of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 3 takes off from the flight deck of USS San Antonio (LPD 17) during a vertical replenishment with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199). San Antonio was the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea. San Antonio’s use as flagship on the deployment confirms the advanced command and control and other capabilities of the San Antonio class, of which New York is a part. This photo also shows the very large flight deck and hangar area of the class.

of success or failure prior to the British landings at Gallipoli in 1915 forced one admiral to resign in a state of nervous collapse. No wonder Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote out a letter of resignation as Allied Supreme Commander the day before the Normandy invasion, just in case the landings failed. And no wonder President Harry S Truman preferred to drop the atomic bomb to force Japan to surrender at the end of World War II, rather than risk the horrendous American casualties that an amphibious invasion of Japan would have cost (Japanese navy planners estimated that kamikazes alone could wipe out 30 to 50 percent of the Allied invasion fleet). Today, the old paradigm is gone, along with Mae West life vests and DUKWs. Contemporary amphibious warfare, known more accurately as expeditionary warfare, is no longer improvised or undersized – or precariously perched between victory and disaster. In fact, the new joint-force, combined arms expeditionary era, of which USS New York (LPD 21) is an essential part, is going to set the new paradigm for all warfare in the 21st century. This marks a sea change in military thinking. For all its risks and costs, the Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force used to see

the amphibious battlefield as only a transitional phase between their normal modes of engaging the enemy on the land, at sea, or in the air. The beachhead itself was a temporary foothold before men and machines got down to the real business of fighting farther inland, and before ships returned to their normal duties at sea. A globalizing age has forced military strategists to envision a very different scenario. It can be summed up as “continuous forward deployment.” In an era in which dire threats can materialize with dizzying speed at any point on the globe, from piracy and terrorism to natural disasters like the 2003 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the U.S. Navy will need a steady and strong forward-presence posture in order to be the first responder. Its Expeditionary Strike Groups are the foundation of this capability. The new amphibious transport dock ships like USS New York are the building blocks on which that foundation is built. In the new paradigm of expeditionary warfare, Navy amphibious assault ships enable the Marine Corps to set its “mobility triad” in motion. These are the air-cushioned LCACs, which can transport 24 Marines and 60 tons of their equipment into battle; the EFVs, which can hit the beach with 17 troops on board and


USS New York LPD 21

drive inland at speeds up to 45 mph; and the new vertical takeoff, tilt-rotor aircraft known as the Osprey, which has a combat range of more than 400 miles and can put up to 32 Marines into action at a time. The new amphibious transport dock will allow an Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit or ARG/MEU to project American power just about anywhere from the sea and then withdraw; or if need be remain on station – over the horizon and out of sight – to watch and wait for a crisis to dissipate; or alternately, to move in to dominate and control events. At the typical ARG/MEU’s core is a cruiser-destroyer squadron consisting of an Aegis cruiser, Aegis destroyer, and a frigate; a submarine; and the ships of the Amphibious Readiness Group proper. These include an amphibious assault ship (LHA) carrying a formidable combination of helicopters and vertical take off aircraft; a landing ship dock (LSD); and one or more LPDs like New York or one of her sister ships, plus the men, tanks, and equipment of a Marine Expeditionary Unit or MEU: some 2,200 Marines in all. These in turn can be augmented by special operations forces, including Navy SEALs and Marine Force Reconnaissance detachments. Once set in motion, the ARG/MEU is a smooth, well-oiled machine geared for forward deployment and force projection. It involves a seamless coordination of ships, Marines, and air


support into a single integrated battle force, ready to move into action from 200 miles at sea to 150 miles inland. What will be the new face of amphibious operations? While submarines clear the water ahead of the strike group, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) circle overhead providing information on the enemy’s positions and capabilities. Aircraft like the AV-8B Harrier II and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters provide 360 degree protection from the air as Marines load up in their LCACs, EFVs, and Ospreys some 20 miles from their target – even as special operations teams are flown in by Ospreys or landed covertly in LCACs in order to reconnoiter the situation on the ground, disable enemy defenses, or secure key positions in advance. Within an hour or two the first Marines are landing – not as exposed targets on the beach but snug and secure in their armored EFVs as they move quickly from the shore and drive inland to dominate and control vital strategic points. At the same time, satellite links enable the Navy’s Force Net system to convey images of the assault to, and maintain real-time communications with, the strike group’s commander and his staff in his combat information center (CIC), as well as a multitude of status screens at the Pentagon and the White House. In the new expeditionary warfare, the old beachhead concept is gone, along with many risks and uncertainties. Instead,

U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Recruit Jeff Hall

Representing two generations of Marine Corps rotary-wing aircraft, a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter completes a landing near a V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft aboard the amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17). San Antonio was conducting several tests in the Atlantic Ocean using the Osprey and Sea Knight to determine what these aircraft are capable of doing with the Navy’s newest class of amphibious transport dock ships.

USS New York LPD 21

a coordinated “combined arms warfare” approach enables the Navy and Marines to control the tempo of the operation from start to finish. And since the amphibious fleet may be dozens of miles from the objective, and since there is no prolonged naval bombardment, the enemy have no idea when the Marines are coming or where they will strike. Even when it is operating alone, USS New York will be able to deploy EFVs, LCACs, and Ospreys from sea to shore to points inland with a seamless speed that will surprise and frustrate our foes – just as it reassure friends and neutrals on the ground. In fact, the new expeditionary paradigm dissolves the difference between land and sea fighting, creating a true joint hybrid form of warfare. The same “hybrid effect” can be seen in the new technologies that are vital to it. The EFV is an amphibious assault vehicle like its World War II ancestors the DUKW and amphtrac. But it is also an armed and dangerous light tank free to maneuver many miles inland. The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that is half a helicopter and half a twin-engine aircraft, able to transport Marines into the combat zone and then carry the wounded, or move civilians, out of harm’s way. Likewise, the new New York will be connected to a joint command and control system that dissolves the old conflict between the different service’s cultures and resources. In fact, the ARG/MEU can be commanded by a Navy admiral or a Marine general, since both will know what the other service’s men and resources can do, and what they can accomplish together.


Backed by a lean core staff of no more than 12 members, this marks a major breakthrough in joint arms warfare and interservice cooperation. All this is made possible by the Navy’s new communications technology, or Force Net, which has in effect linked every vessel into a single integrated network. It is apparent everywhere you go on USS New York, where 500 miles of electrical cable service the computer systems that make it one of the “smartest” ships afloat. Step into her combat information center, and you are as close to the bridge of the starship Enterprise as you’ll ever be. Computer screens and video displays surround you on all sides, monitoring every aspect of the ship’s position, weaponry, and performance. Force Net also enables commanders half a world away to see what her captain sees in the CIC, and monitor the ship’s progress as she sails into port – or sails into the battle zone. The same internal net system allows New York’s engineers to drive her four supercharged diesels and check their status, not just on the bridge or in the engine room, but from a variety of points in the ship. Damage control officers use the same system to check electrical relays and watch for warning signs of a possible fire outbreak or other threats to the ship. Add in the unceasing round of damage and fire control drills; special antichemical and anti-bio warfare equipment; and anti-terrorist force protection training exercises involving every member of

Courtesy of USMC PEO Land Systems

The Marine Corps’ EFV is several times faster in water than its predecessors, representing a game-changing capability in amphibious tracked vehicles. On land, its speed, agility, networking capabilities, and firepower make it a formidable fighting vehicle.

LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Geronimo Aquino

Sailors aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) launch a Landing Craft Utility (LCU) during training exercises. LCUs are also employed by amphibious transport dock ships like the New York, and can carry three M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks or more than 400 Marines at a time.

the crew, and USS New York is not only a smart but a safe and secure vessel for everyone on board. The weapons, warfare, and technology at this level of sophistication demand a skilled and motivated crew. When you meet the men and women of USS New York, you realize that they are “switched-on” in the best, military sense of the word: alert, focused, and confident even under adverse circumstances. New York’s Executive Officer Cmdr. Erich Schmidt, has guided them through every step of their pre-commissioning training. “I’ve watched this crew come together for almost two years,” he said, “they are truly the best America, and the Navy, have to offer.” The crew comes from a variety of backgrounds and from a spread of states from Hawaii and Kansas to New York. But all share a dedication to their work, to their service, and to the New York Navy tradition. The building and christening of this New York has enabled them to meet and stay in touch with the World War II veterans who served in the old BB 34 battleship, and who wear the same USS New York ball cap with pride. However, there is also a special pride in serving in LPD 21: its direct ties to 9/11 and its legacy for this country. For many, it was 9/11 that got them into the Navy in the first place – or kept them in it. Chief Petty Officer Keenan Gresham, for example, was headed for retirement after 22 years in the Navy when the planes hit the Twin Towers. “I knew then we were at war,” he

recalled. He put off retirement, and swung back into active service with an extra sense of purpose and will. Now, to actually serve on board the “Twin Towers ship” is, Gresham admitted, the highlight of a two-decade-long career. Other sailors and officers feel the same. One said he knows he will have other tours of duty on other ships, after New York. But he’ll always ask himself, “Will they be as good as my first ship, LPD 21?” Others have an even more personal connection. Her skipper, Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones, is a native New Yorker; Yeoman 2nd Class Aaron Palacio was sitting in his high school class in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, when his stunned teacher had to tell her students that the World Trade Center had just been attacked. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kevin Muse’s high school teacher had a brother who was in the WTC when the planes hit. Both of Muse’s grandfathers had been in the Navy, but the incident galvanized his decision to join. “It gave me a chance to fight back,” he said. Muse originally chose to fight back as part of the Marines, and served a full tour of duty in Iraq. That gave him a chance to see the war on terror up close and personal, and see American courage and resolve in action. “They tried to break our spirit” on 9/11, Muse added, “but it didn’t work.” Now he has a chance to vindicate the sacrifice of 9/11 in an even more direct way. At least two members of New York’s fire and damage control team know that sacrifice, as well. At her firefighting train-


LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky

The amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), and the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) transit the Atlantic Ocean. Carter Hall, San Antonio, and Roosevelt were deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group, which was supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. Expeditionary Strike Groups can project American combat power from the sea to almost any place on Earth.

ing school, Damage Controlman 3rd Class Christina Gallegos worked with civilian firefighters who knew 9/11 firsthand. Firefighters from as far away as Norfolk, Va., and Washington, D.C., had been summoned to help to fight the conflagration. Many had colleagues who had died there. These civilian firefighters were, she said, a constant source of awe and inspiration to her. For Gallegos, serving in the ship made from steel from those Twin Towers is a matter of supreme pride. Damage Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) Bershers has watched firefighters working with steel from the Twin Towers: men from his grandfather’s fire station in Long Island making crosses at the request of victims’ families, after they themselves fought the horrific blaze in vain. Bershers is a career Navy man as well as a New York native; USS New York is going to be his seventh ship. Bershers had planned to be in lower Manhattan on that fateful September 11, on leave with friends: “I would have been seven blocks away,” he remembers, when the planes hit. Instead, his leave was canceled and he remembers the wave of emotion that swept over him when he heard the news back in Norfolk. He tried desperately to go to New York City to help in the volunteer effort, but he was ordered to stay: “The whole base [Norfolk Naval Station] was in lockdown at the time.” However, like many on the crew he fought long and hard to get a

berth in LPD 21. At his own expense, he drove down to New Orleans to attend the ship’s christening. Serving in USS New York is more than the culmination of 18 years in the Navy; for Bershers, it is a personal mission. Finally, there is Personnelman Specialist Seaman Dupree. She’s from Kansas, but comes from a Kenyan family. She had heard the news of 9/11 on the radio, when it “really hit home” what this country meant to her. “I had to give back to the society that has changed so many people’s lives for the better,” including her own family, she said with quiet pride. “I knew I needed to join the military.” Like the rest of the crew of USS New York, Dupree knows the terrorists hate us for not for what America has done wrong, but for what it has done right as a haven of prosperity, freedom, and liberty for all peoples of all races and religions. Serving in this ship is her way of thanking America for extending a helping hand to her, “a legacy for my children and family,” and a way to remember the thousands who unexpectedly paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom on 9/11. The motto is: “Strength Forged through Sacrifice. Never forget.” As New York’s skipper Jones said: “The men and women of USS New York will never forget.” Nor will we. And we will always feel grateful for these men and women’s brave dedicated service – and the ship that proudly carries them across the seas.


USS New York LPD 21

New York, New York By Bob McManus It was fully 400 years ago when Henry Hudson – an Englishman under hire to the Dutch – turned the bow of Halve Maen into the mouth of the river that today bears his name. He sought easy passage to the Orient. What he found was something quite different: Passage to the interior of a vast wilderness that time and toil would transform into an American state of the first rank – by some standards, a great nation in its own right. New York, in its 50-million-square-mile entirety, is a study in physical contrast, cultural conflict and hopeful aspiration. Its history parallels America’s – indeed, in some ways American history begins in New York. Hudson could push Halve Maen, scarcely 85 feet long, only to present-day Albany, 150 miles upriver from the great bay to the south. Beyond that, travel along the Hudson – all the way to its wellspring, Lake Tear of the Clouds, deep in the Adirondack high peaks – was by Iroquois canoe, or by foot. That would change. The first Europeans – most of them mapmakers – had quickly grasped the strategic character of the Hudson River-Lake George-Lake Champlain corridor. Armies – French, English, American – moved up and down its length for decades. And so it was not by happenstance that in the autumn of 1777, a British invasion force under Gen. John Burgoyne was southbound along the Hudson, intent on bisecting the fledgling American revolution. Battle was joined at Freeman’s Farm, and concluded at Bemis Heights, both overlooking the widening river at present-day Schuylerville. When the Battle of Saratoga was over, George Washington’s ragtag army had gained international credibility and an independent United States of America had become a very real possibility. And so it came to pass. Soon Robert Fulton’s steam boats were plying the Hudson to Albany, and railroads were running along its banks. A grand canal was dug, linking the river to the Great Lakes, transporting the Industrial Revolution first into the Mohawk Valley and then to the vast interior of America – transforming the entire continent in the process. New York, especially. Tangible wealth, personal freedom and seemingly limitless opportunity worked as magnets among the restless poor of Europe and beyond. Waves of immigration broke over the state: first came the Irish, Germans and Italians; then Eastern Europeans, Jews and African-Americans – and, most recently, newcomers from Central and South America, Southwest Asia, the Caribbean Basin and Africa. This was – and remains – a fractious mix. But therein resides the magic – the genius – of New York. Its politics are contentious, and often corrosive – but four of its governors have gone on to the White House, including


the transformative Roosevelt cousins, and that’s more than any other state can claim. Its economics can bewilder – vast wealth arrayed conspicuously alongside crippling poverty. But appearances deceive: New Yorkers care for their own, and penniless new arrivals – through hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and an occasional touch of good fortune – are soon on their way to the economic and cultural mainstream. And nowhere more quickly than in New York City, where The Bronx is still up, the Battery’s still down, and the people still ride in a hole in the ground. After all these years, still a helluva town. There is friction; how could there not be. And there’s been wrack and riot across the decades because of it. But friction generates energy, too, vast pools of it – an essential raw material for material success and cultural cohesion. In that respect, New York is peerless. The city can seem forbidding to newcomers. And in fact it is not for everybody. Yet those who arrive and linger find it intoxicating, compelling. Broadway. Museum Mile. Ruth and Mantle and Maris. The Giants. The Jets. The ’69 Mets. It may not be true that if you hang out in Times Square long enough, you’ll run into everybody you know – but it seems as if it could be. Then there are the landmarks: The statue in the harbor, the iconic bridge, the ballpark in The Bronx – and the skyline recognized ‘round the world, now missing two tall buildings. This also speaks to the singularity of New York. Those who declared war on America in the fall of 2001 wanted the world to take note – so where better to begin than at the intersection of Wall Street and the loudest media megaphones on the planet. The World Trade Center fell and the city shuddered – but it survived and recovered. This is nothing new. Ground Zero is only a cannon-shot from where Henry Hudson made landfall those four centuries ago. Then came the Dutch, and the English. There was revolution, civil war, domestic insurrection, financial panic and social unrest well into recent times. Through it all, New York City coped. It evolved. It became the economic, cultural and social locus of America – envied, a little, by civilized people around the world for its brash good humor, its studied nonchalance and its unflappable attitude. It’s not always easy to love New York. But who would want to live anywhere else? Not I.


USS New York LPD 21

The Main Battery By Col. Gary J. Ohls, USMCR (Ret.) and Lt. Col. David F. Overton, USMC (Ret.)

Of course the weapons, equipment, and tactics of Marines have changed since that exceedingly tough amphibious fight at Iwo Jima. But the determination, mission orientation, and agility of the individual Marine remains constant. Today’s Marines have many specialties – just as those of World War II – yet the idea that all Marines are primarily riflemen remains fundamental to Marine Corps training and thinking.ii Each Marine learns basic infantry skills upon entering the Corps, and receives refresher training throughout his career, be that one enlistment or many. The phrase “every Marine a rifleman” essentially


means, “Every Marine – regardless of military occupation specialty – is first and foremost a disciplined warrior.”iii The essential rite of passage for a U.S. Marine is the Corps’ legendary boot camp, which introduces young American civilians into the demanding world of the United States Marine Corps. Marine Corps boot camp has traditionally been tough and, if anything, has become more so over the years. During the late 1990s, Marine leaders introduced a capstone event called “The Crucible,” which tests the physical and mental stamina of recruits before they graduate and earn the title of

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alvin D. Parson

The main battery of the new and highly capable USS New York remains the same as for all amphibious ships in the American fleet – the embarked U.S. Marine. The standing of that Marine in the American military ethos was perhaps most eloquently expressed by Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. Reflecting on the Marines who fought the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, Nimitz avowed that “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” The granite base of the U.S. Marine Memorial at Arlington, Va., now bears these words.i In the tradition of the Corps, today’s Marines constantly strive to be worthy successors to those who have gone before.

U.S. Marine Corps photo Staff Sgt. Jennie Ivey, USAF

LPD 21 USS New York

Opposite page: U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, poses with Marines with Personal Security Detail, Regimental Combat Team 6 at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, Feb. 7, 2009. Marines comprise the “main battery” of the Gator Navy. Above: New U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) recruits from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island, S.C., finish the final phase of basic training. “The Crucible” is a final three-day field exercise where recruits participate in day and night operations along with food and sleep deprivation to test their endurance.

Marine. The Crucible lasts 54 hours and includes food and sleep deprivation, more than 45 miles of marching, combat courses, problem solving reaction courses, and team-building Warrior Stations, to name only some of the events.iv Although an important culminating experience, the Crucible is only part of the boot camp experience. Numerous other timetested activities fill the crowded days of this demanding curriculum, including confidence courses, rappelling, combat water survival, marksmanship training, tactical movement, pugil stick fighting, close order drill, physical training, and academic study on essential subjects from administration to warfighting tactics. The ultimate goal of all this effort is to create a basic Marine of high character and moral strength who embodies the core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.v After graduation from boot camp, the new Marine receives orders to the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, Calif., or Camp Lejeune, N.C., for further training in basic infantry skills. Those who specialize in the infantry occupational field report to the Infantry Training Battalion for advanced training in that military occupational specialty. Those designated to serve in non-infantry specialties report to Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCTB) to enhance the fighting skills they learned in boot Upon completion of the MCTB program, these Marines attend a follow-on school for their military specialty. Throughout their time in the Corps, all Marines, regardless of their area of specialty, continue to maintain basic fighting skills, including physical fitness, weapons training and

requalification, and essential subjects training and testing. The oft repeated phrase “Every Marine a rifleman” is clearly not an empty slogan, but a cultural imperative of the Corps.vii And although New York will hold Marines possessing many different specialties, they will all be Marine riflemen first and foremost. Another unique program that contributes to the individual Marine’s fighting skill is the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). Initiated in the year 2000, the MCMAP augments Marine Corps capability by “providing a systematic training regimen for the mental, character, and physical development of Marines.”viii The MCMAP applies to all Marines regardless of rank or specialty as they progress through their careers. The program involves a ranking system consisting of five levels of belts, with the highest – Black Belt – having six degrees. Advancing through these ratings not only includes the three basic elements of the program (mental, character, and physical development), but also involves completing certain rank-appropriate professional military education requirements.ix The MCMAP is an innovative program that has made an already good Marine even better. The typical Marine warrior today carries a combat load that is simultaneously similar and dissimilar from that of his World War II equivalent. Both had the best protective system available for their time and carried a state-of-the-art combat rifle. But the protection available to today’s Marine is far greater than during the 1940s. In addition to an improved and lighter


U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sean P. McGinty

LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist David Rush

Above: Sgt. Maj. Larock W. Benford, I Marine Expeditionary Force’s Ground Combat Element’s 47-year-old sergeant major, demonstrates wrestling techniques to the service members of I MEF Headquarter Group (Forward)’s most recent martial arts instructor course. Benford was one of many guest instructors who took his time to teach the 95 service members who attended the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program MAI class on Camp Fallujah. Left: Marine Corps Sgt. Edward Mertz of Combat Service Support Group Three (CSS-3), Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, conducts Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) Tan Belt training to fellow Marine Corps cadre on board Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The training is conducted in order to prepare the Marines for various security taskings.

helmet, the Marines who serve on board New York will possess personal protective equipment (body armor and other protective devices), which they can tailor to the tactical needs of their mission.x As opposed to the sturdy M-1 Garand rifle of World War II, today’s Marine carries the lighter yet more rapid firing M16A4 assault rifle with an optical scope and illuminator.xi Arguably, both the M-1 Garand and the M16A4 represent the premier combat rifle of their time. Another item newly available to commanders is the individual communications system based on the PRC-153 radio. When utilized, this system will, for the first time, permit squad leaders to talk by radio to every Marine within the unit.xii Other items of individual equipment such as

cartridge belts, canteens, load bearing devices (packs), and field uniforms have substantially improved over the years, yet provide a similar function to all generations of Marines. The same is true for their various supporting units, including artillery, close air support, logistical systems, and naval support. But regardless of differences or similarities, the Marines deployed on board New York – like those who fought at Iwo Jima – can have full confidence that their country will provide the best equipment, support, and preparation available at the time. Today’s Marine is more likely to operate in a joint environment than in times past, even though the Navy and Marine Corps team remains the key context for deployment and op-


USS New York LPD 21

erations. xiii Although the Navy and Marine Corps team is technically a joint force, it is actually something much more. For more than 200 years, the Navy and Marine Corps have worked together, building a common institutional culture in the field of amphibious and expeditionary warfare. xiv The Marines embarked on New York, along with their sailor counterparts, are the clear beneficiaries of this rich tradition and symbiotic relationship. In a broader sense, the concept of team effort suffuses all aspects of the professional environment in which Marines operate – past or present. Regardless of how much individual training is included in the various Marine Corps programs, it is


always within a framework of team effort and the dependence of one Marine upon another. Whereas it is crucial that Marines have faith in their country’s support, it is even more critical that they trust in the fidelity of fellow Marines once committed to action. This concept permeates Marine Corps training and provides the key ingredient for success across the entire range of military operations. Individual Marines fight and operate as a tightly knit team within well exercised units, always ready to live up to their tradition of being the “first to fight.”xv A notable aspect of the Marines who will serve on board New York is their youth. Today’s Marines are not only younger than those who served at Iwo Jima, but are considerably

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Robert M. Storm

Lance Cpl. Ryan R. Irving (left), infantryman, from Elburn, Ill. and Lance Cpl. Curtis D. Land, infantryman, from Cedar Falls, Iowa, take security posts during a meeting between Marines and villagers. In preparation for elections, Marines conducted a preemptive attack on known areas of anti-coalition militia activity. The hybrid battlefields of today demand more leadership and decision-making capability from within the ranks.

LPD 21 USS New York

younger than the average age within other U.S. services. The Marine Corps also has the fewest number of officers in relation to its enlisted members.xvi This means that younger and more junior enlisted Marines must assume greater responsibility in combat situations than is the case with other services. As a result, Marine Corps leaders have undertaken to enhance leadership and decision-making capability within the junior ranks – particularly for noncommissioned officers in the ranks of corporal and sergeant. The irregular and hybrid battlefield upon which Marines of the 21st century must operate further compounds the need for such an endeavor. Marine Gen. Charles C. Krulak best gave voice to the problems of this new reality while serving as Commandant of the Marine Corps during the late 1990s. Among other things, Krulak became the proponent of two transformational concepts – the “three block war,” and the “Strategic Corporal.”xvii Only slightly understood at that time, Krulak’s concepts have become hallmarks for how U.S. forces must adjust for the ambiguous battlefield of the twenty-first century.xviii As Krulak pondered the chaotic environment in which his Marines would likely operate in the future, he observed that individual Marines on the ground could potentially confront the entire spectrum of tactical challenges. Conceived of for an urban environment, Krulak contended that Marines could conduct humanitarian activity, separate warring factions, and engage in pitched battle all within three contiguous blocks.xix In Krulak’s words, “Without direct supervision, young Marines will be required to make rapid, well-reasoned, independent decisions while facing a bewildering array of challenges and threats.” In the hybrid and amorphous conflicts Krulak envisioned in the world’s littorals of the future, battles could be won or lost not in the minds of great commanders, but in the minds of “our strategic corporals.”xx The Marines of New York will benefit from Krulak’s prescience as the Marine Corps has adjusted its training program to better prepare not only “Strategic Corporals (and Sergeants),” but also Marines of all ranks for the new operational environment they must face. xxi Yet with the focus on junior leaders that Krulak brought to the surface, ongoing efforts are under way to continue enhancement in this area. Among the more recent innovations is the squad leaders’ initiative, resulting in a professional military education (PME) opportunity at the junior NCO level. xxii As stated in the recent Marine Corps publication, Marine Corps Vision & Strategy 2025, “The ability to conduct both types (civil-military and combat) of operations, simultaneously, is the essence of the force as a “two-fisted fighter” – capable of offering an open hand to people in need or a precise jab to an adversary in an irregular warfare environment; while at the same time, ready to wield a closed fist in the event of major combat operations.”xxiii When Marines on board New York go ashore, they enter not only a nebulous situation, but also one which is likely to be highly dynamic, requiring all their training, intelligence, and experience to be the warriors expected by the nation in an age of hybrid warfare. The program that resulted from the squad leaders’ initiative will greatly contribute to that end. The Marines of New York are likely to be up to the task, not only due to their education and training, but because of the extent of their experience. Although youthful in years, today’s Marines are highly experienced, spending as much time deployed abroad as at home. Of course, this is due

in large part to the demands of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet Marine Corps leaders intend to reduce this deployment-to-dwell rotation cycle from a ratio of 1:1 as it now exists to a ratio of 1:2 as a result of the increase in force structure currently under way. As a point of reference, the rotation cycle before the advent of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom amounted to a 1:3 ratio. xxiv It is clear that the demands of this high operational tempo, coupled with the greater level of responsibility required of the junior ranks, has placed an unprecedented burden on today’s Marines. Fortunately, the young Marines of our era have risen to the challenge. It is clear that today’s Marines – many of whom will serve on board New York – are both similar to and different from their predecessors. The greatest difference is in their equipment and the operational environment in which they serve. But in the most important things, such as dedication to duty, integrity, and courage, they are truly worthy successors to the Marines who landed on Iwo Jima in 1945, and to those who have served America in myriad places and times for well over two centuries. Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Strategy 21, 3 March 2000, 6. iii Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Vision & Strategy 2025, (undated), 8. iv training_matrix; USMC pamphlet, Description of Recruit Training. Copy in possession of the authors. v; U.S. Marine Corps pamphlet, Description of Recruit Training, undated. Copy in possession of the authors. vi vii U.S. Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Vision & Strategy 2025, (undated), 8. viii Marine Corps Order 1500.54A, 16 December 2002, 2. ix Marine Corps Order 1500.54A, 16 December 2002, 4-8. x Lieutenant Colonel Sean Riordan, USMC, Interview by the authors, 13 May 2009; Marine Corps Message R 162016z, MARADMIN number 0254/09, 16 April 2009. xi Marine Corps brochure, Typical Personal Infantry Marine Combat Load,” 28 January 2009. Copy in possession of authors. xii Major David Wallace, USMC, interview by the authors, 13 May 2009. xiii Marine Corps concept paper, The Long War: Send in the Marines, (undated), 31. xiv Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Strategy 21, 3 November 2000, 2, 21. xv Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Vision & Strategy, 2025, (undated), 6. xvi Marine Corps Community Services, Headquarters, Marine Corps, Personal and Family Readiness Division, The Marine Corps “A Young and Vigorous Force” Demographics Update, June 2008, 2; “United States Marine Corps Organization and Missions,” Seapower Magazine Almanac, January 2004. xvii Charles C. Krulak, “Cultivating Intuitive Decisionmaking,” Marine Corps Gazette, May 1999. xviii United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Evolving the MAGTF for the 21st Century, 20 March 2009, 3. xix Brill P. Arthur, Jr., “The Three-block War,” Sea Power, November 1999. xx Charles C. Krulak, “Cultivating Intuitive Decisionmaking,” Marine Corps Gazette, May 1999. xxi Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Vision & Strategy 2025, (undated), 14, 20, 24; Marine Corps concept paper, The Long War: Send in the Marines, (undated), 29; Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Strategy 21, 3 November 2000, 6-7. xxii Lieutenant Colonel Sean Riordan, USMC, interview by the authors, 13 May 2009. xxiii Marine Corps concept paper, Marine Corps Vision & Strategy 2025, (undated), 6; Marine Corps concept paper, The Long War: Send in the Marines, (undated), 34-35. xxiv Marine Corps concept paper, The Long War: Send in the Marines, (undated), 14. i



USS New York LPD 21

USS New York Well Deck and Flight Deck Ops By Mark D. Faram

That crisis could be a war, humanitarian relief, or even a hostage rescue. For those reasons, every detail of the ship was designed and built to ensure that the deployment and eventual recovery of the Marines, or other embarked forces, goes off quickly and efficiently. The operation eventually comes down to the ship’s flight deck and well deck operations. “That’s what we’re here for and the reason this ship was built – for Marines and their needs from the ground up – and with their input along the way,” said Navy Lt. Terry Menteer, who for the past 18 months has been responsible for safe operation of the flight deck as air boss for New York’s sister ship, USS San Antonio (LPD 17). The two ships are part of a new class of LPDs, the Navy designation as “amphibious transport dock.” As a result of those joint Navy-Marine development efforts, the new San Antonio-class ships are light-years ahead of their predecessors in the ability to complete their basic missions, and as each successive ship in this new class hits the fleet, new missions previously not thought of or even possible for a gator in the past are becoming routine. “We not only have the ability to operate as part of a larger expeditionary strike group, but we can also operate independently or as a command ship of our own group of ships,” Menteer said. “New possibilities for this class of ships are being realized every day we’re out here.” The most basic theories of amphibious warfare operations are the same as when Marines stormed ashore in the island hopping campaigns of World War II, though the gear used to get them there has improved exponentially.


Photo copyright Mark D. Faram

When USS New York (LPD 21) deploys for the first time, the measure of her success will be her ability to get Marines and their gear ashore. She is, after all, a “gator” – a reference to one of nature’s aggressive amphibians and sailor talk for an amphibious ship. And as a gator her whole reason for being is to transport Marines wherever they are needed and deploy them quickly to deal with the crisis at hand.

LPD 21 USS New York

A Landing Craft, Air Cushioned, from the Norfolk, Va -based Assault Craft Unit Four exits the stern gate of the USS San Antonio’s well deck in Chesapeake Bay, just off Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va. The craft were leaving the ship for the final time after the ship’s seven-month inaugural deployment to the Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa.


LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Hodges Pone III

Photo copyright Mark D. Faram

Left: Members of the flight deck crew of USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), an amphibious transport dock and sister ship of New York, prepare for the arrival of an MV-22 Osprey aircraft. Mesa Verde sailors and approximately 375 Marines participated in an Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit exercise used to test the capabilities of both entities during joint forces missions. LPD 17-class ships can operate up to five Ospreys. Above: Air department sailors wash salt water off the flight deck of the amphibious platform dock San Antonio in preparation for flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean. The massive hangar bay is open behind the sailors, while the “tower,” where the air boss controls operations, is on the upper left of the structure. Conventional landing craft have given way to LCACs, (Landing Craft, Air Cushion), Marine Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles, and other specialized amphibious craft to speed men and equipment ashore. Helicopters, too, are now gradually giving way to new technology as well, with a new generation of “tilt-rotor” MV-22 Osprey warbirds that can hover like a helicopter, but fly fast and far like a fixed-wing aircraft. With the first four San Antonio class of ships – and now with New York – that evolution has taken the next step, combining tried-and-true practices with new ship designs and technology in a way that will make the nearly 800 Marines on board even more of an effective fighting team. Here’s a peek at how it’s done.

Flight Deck Ops Air boss Menteer has flown from some of the Navy’s smallest flight decks on destroyers and frigates as a fleet SH60 Seahawk pilot, and he said San Antonio’s 98-foot wide and 15,200 square feet of black non-skid is a relatively spacious platform for any pilot, Navy or Marine, in the middle of a pitching sea.

As the man in charge of all flight deck operations on a new LPD, he said he’s got a slightly different view today than he did in the pilot seat. “Doing this job gives me a completely different perspective on what a ship has to do to make what I do possible – there are a lot of moving parts and pilots get a little impatient with that,” he said. “I’ll take that perspective back to the fleet with me when I leave this assignment.” But for those in the cockpit, he said New York’s flight deck will be a welcome sight in the middle of an open ocean, when compared to many other flight decks in the fleet. “It’s far less scary, because it’s a very large deck. It’s significantly larger than the LPD-4 class of ship – the predecessor of the San Antonio class – so that makes it a lot nicer to work off of,” he said. “As far as versatility,” he added, “there’s four or five flight deck configurations you can use, depending on what the winds are, what the mission is, and the mix of aircraft on board. “Obviously,” he said, “the San Antonioclass ships can’t launch and recover the same mix of aircraft that the larger deck Wasp-class amphibious ships or even

the still bigger, full decked, nuclear powered, attack aircraft carriers [can], but for its size, it packs a punch rarely seen in a ship with ‘limited real estate.’” Though the ship primarily embarks Marine aircraft, Menteer’s flight deck crew is all Navy, with 19 flight deck specialists in his air department. There are aviation boatswain’s mates (aircraft handling), who direct the movement of the aircraft around the flight deck and individually control the launching and recovery operations using hand signals. Also on board are their companion ratings of aviation boatswain’s mate (fuels) who are responsible for fueling aircraft on deck and maintaining the supply of aviation fuel on board. Like any flight deck in the fleet, these sailors wear special uniforms for their environment. The aircraft handlers wear fire-resistant clothes, including heavy duty pants and bright yellow turtleneck shirts for the senior handlers, while the junior sailors in the group wear blue shirts. Their fuels counterparts wear the same uniform, but their jerseys are purple in color, giving them the nickname of “grapes.”


USS New York LPD 21

Also on board are a couple of aviation support equipment technicians, sailors who operate and maintain the ground support equipment needed to move aircraft around the deck and in and out of the ship’s hangar. Aircraft land on and launch from “spots” on the flight deck. For normal, non-combat operations, Menteer said, they use two spots, one on the forward part of the flight deck and one on the aft area of the flight deck. When aircraft land on the ship in this configuration, they approach the ship from either the starboard or port side at a 45-degree angle to the ship’s centerline and land facing that direction as well. “If we get into a more combat oriented environment where we need to put more aircraft in the air such as the [UH1] ‘Hueys’ and [AH-1] ‘Cobra’ gunships ships, each of those two main spots can be split in half, increasing my landing capacity from two to four,” Menteer said. “But in this configuration the pilots must land from aft to forward along the ship’s centerline.” Menteer said the original concept for the ship was to launch two aircraft simultaneously, and for the larger aircraft that’s how it works. But pushing the envelope, he’s found with smaller aircraft, such as the Hueys or Cobras armed with missiles, they can rework the deck to handle four at a time, allowing for a quicker launch of more combat power. “That gives us the ability


for a near simultaneous launch of two sections of two aircraft each,” he said. For the most part, the pilots and aircraft that operate from an amphibious ship are from the U.S. Marine Corps, though from time to time Navy aircraft operate from the LPDs. The ship was designed and built to handle the new tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey. These aircraft take off and land like a helicopter, but once airborne, they fly like a fixed-wing aircraft, with a greater range and speed. They are ideal for not only Marines, but special operations forces as well. By the time New York makes her first deployment, officials said, the Osprey will be a common sight in the Marine “air combat element” on the flight decks of LPDs. “We have the ability to operate with two Ospreys on the flight deck and one in the hangar,” Menteer said. “But in special circumstances, we can handle five, two operating on the flight deck, two folded on the flight deck, and one in the hangar.” When the ship is flying aircraft, Menteer is orchestrating the ballet from a perch overlooking the flight deck, known as “the tower.” There, he and his assistant, known as the “mini-boss,” watch the whole deck from just inside a large window high up on the port side of the ship, looking aft. Between the seats in the tower are the air boss’s controls for the landing deck

lights, firefighting equipment, and the equipment for communications with the deck, other stations in the ship, and the aircraft. On the older amphibious ships, the tower operator had access to only one communications frequency. But on the new LPD class, the air boss can dial into any communications net on the ship from a handset right next to his seat and talk to the bridge as easily as to the pilots hovering over his deck. The air boss is also has responsibilities in flight deck emergencies, including fires, and from his seat, the air boss can start the major firefighting equipment running, saving precious time in the crucial first moments of a fire. To fight fuel fires on the flight deck, the Navy uses “AFFF” – aqueous film forming foam. Sailors call it “A triple F.” This mixture is sprayed on the fire, smothering it. On older ships, sailors had to first go below decks and start the system that mixes the formula and pumps it up to the deck hoses. “Now we hit that button and that activates the pump down in the AFFF station and that sets the proper AFFF mixture,” Menteer said. “That way it’s already going before our people get out on deck and are exposed to the fire.” Teams of sailors can attack a flight deck fire from one of four locations split between the two main deck spots. The forward spots are contained inside the ship, one in the starboard passageway and one in the port passageway leading to the flight deck. For the aft spot, they are accessed through the ship’s catwalks – one on the starboard side and the other on the port side. Here, too, the Navy is using advanced ship design to improve existing firefighting technology. “Instead of having the gear exposed on the catwalks and out in the weather, it’s been moved into a compartment inside the skin of the ship,” Menteer said. “We take the panel off prior to flight quarters, a little more work for us on the front end in setting up for flight

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Brandenburg

From top to bottom, a UH-1N Huey, an AH-1W Super Cobra, a CH-46 Sea Knight, and a CH-53E Super Stallion fly in formation. New York and other ships of the class can sustain any of these aircraft on a deployment.

LPD 21 USS New York

Photos copyright Mark D. Faram

Above: Sailors work in the massive well deck aboard San Antonio washing down Landing Craft, Air Cushioned (LCACs) from the Norfolk, Va.-based Assault Craft Unit Four. The craft had just returned to the ship after completing their offload of Marines and their equipment at Onslow Beach, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Right: LCACs from the Norfolk, Va.-based Assault Craft Unit Four preparing to depart the ship.

operations, but it keeps the gear protected from the salt water and the elements. That also prevents wear and tear on the gear, making it more dependable.” One of the new LPD’s most obvious features is the 1,500-squarefoot hangar space. How many aircraft the ship can keep in the hangar at one time varies by aircraft. For example, at one time the hangar can accommodate: four AH-1 Cobras, or three UH-1 Hueys, or two CH-46 Sea Knights, or two SH-60 Seahawks, or one CH-53 Sea Stallion, or a single MV-22 Osprey. Though the ship doesn’t have aircraft mechanics aboard full-time, she does have the capability to support basic maintenance. “We can provide level-one maintenance for the Ospreys. We have everything we need here to sustain an Osprey for a deployment,” he said. The same holds true for just about any helicopter in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory, up to and including the large CH-53 Sea Stallion aircraft operated by the Navy and Marine Corps. “When the aircraft come on board, they come with all the support personnel required for them during the deployment,”

he said. “What we provide are dedicated maintenance shops for them and storerooms for their gear and spare parts.”

Well Deck Ops The well deck is where the Marines and their equipment are loaded into the “LCACs,” Marine Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles, and other specialized amphibious assault craft. It’s part of a cavernous space, but once loaded with Marines and deployed, it’s cram-packed with vehicles and the rest of the Marine’s combat cargo. Keeping track of all this material in San Antonio and making sure it gets to shore quickly is the duty of Marine Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthonie Scott, the ship’s combat cargo officer. One of the few Marines attached to the ship’s company, Scott has served for 17 years in the Corps, most as combat cargo


USS New York LPD 21

officer on three other ships. He says it’s the size and versatility of the LPD’s cargo areas that make well deck operations run efficiently and quickly. There’s a capability to deploy with 797 Marines and their gear on board these ships. For the Marines, this means armories in each berthing area for weapons such as M16 rifles and sidearms. Also aboard are five other Marine armories to store machine guns and larger weapons. Stowing their other gear, such as tanks, artillery pieces, and assorted trucks, is another story. Those items end up in the 23,261 square feet of total stowage area on the ship, split among the 9,348 square feet of main vehicle area, 6,538 square feet of upper vehicle area, and 7,375 square feet of lower vehicle area – 4,500 more square feet of space than the previous class of amphibious transport docks had. “This space and configuration gives us an incredible amount of versatility in how we initially load the equipment aboard the ship, but more importantly in how we plan mission packages later for off-load,” Scott said. “It allows us to spread the equipment out and then pull it out in custom mission packages.” That just wasn’t the case in the cramped cargo area on the older class of amphibs, where the gear for the most part had to leave the ship in the reverse order from how it was on-loaded.


“Getting grunts and gear to the beach,” he said, “is also substantially faster on the new LPDs, not just because of increased space but because of how the interior of the ship was designed.” For example, Scott said, “Our ladder openings are large enough to accommodate fully loaded Marines wearing their packs and carrying their rifles. Before, on the older ships, when you had 10 Marines trying to get from one deck level to another for debarkation it was labor intensive. “Marines would have to stop at the bottom or top of each ladder and pass their gear through one item at a time. Now they keep moving, and that cuts the time it takes to load them out in half.” The final loading out takes place in the well deck, an area the size of a gymnasium in the aft area below the main deck. The well deck provides an interior dock and allows the landing craft to be loaded inside the ship, sheltered from the rolling waves outside – where most of their World War II counterparts were forced to load. Craft go in and out of the ship through the stern gate, huge doors that make up the stern of the ship. But that gate can be dropped, opening the well deck to the sea. The hollow sides of the well deck – they’re called “wing walls” – can be flooded, allowing the ship’s stern to be lowered in a controlled

Photo copyright Mark D. Faram

A look from the wing walls of the well deck forward into the cargo storage areas of the amphibious transport dock ship San Antonio.

LPD 21 USS New York

Photo copyright Mark D. Faram

LCACs from the Norfolk, Va. – based Assault Craft Unit Four head for home after exiting the stern gate of the USS San Antonio’s well deck in the Chesapeake Bay, just off Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va.

sinking to the desired depth, which depends on the type of craft being used. Well decks in older class ships had a bottom made of wood. Maintaining the wood by cleaning and sanding and especially replacing it was one of the dirtiest jobs in the Navy. But all that has changed with this class of ship, Scott said. “Our well deck has composite flooring that is bolted into place in four-foot squares,” he said. “So if there’s damage or corrosion, we can go in and unbolt that section and replace it easily. The material helps the LCACs operate more efficiently as the composite material offers significantly less friction as the craft moves over it, resulting in smoother operation and less chance of damage to their huge inflatable rubberized air bags the craft ride on.” The wing walls of the well deck are coated with a special rubberized composite material that protects both the ship and the landing craft from the inevitable crunches that occur – especially in rough seas. When it’s time to hit the beach, the men and material to be loaded out make their way from the cargo areas, down steep ramps and onto the landing craft. As with the flight deck, the craft are guided into “spots” for loading. Spot one is in the for-

ward part of the well deck and spot two is in the aft area, and the LCACs line up front-to-back down the center of the well. “We have the ability to do what we call ‘speed bumping,’” Scott said. “That’s when you drive a vehicle over the LCAC in spot one to load the LCAC in spot two, allowing us to load two vehicles simultaneously.” This wasn’t possible in the older classes of amphibious ships, Scott said, where the LCACs had to be loaded out one at a time. “The flexibility of this ship gives us so many options in the well deck,” he said. “We are able to move equipment without forklifts and to stage equipment when and where we need to, making load planning very easy.”

The Long View The christening brochure for New York pulls the long range potential for her and her sister ships together: “The ships will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions throughout the first half of the 21st century … The multi-mission, versatile LPD ships will … take the power, will and courage of the United States to the four corners of the world.”


USS New York LPD 21

Building USS New York Pride Overcomes Construction Challenges

By Edward L. Winter

Each ship built by Northrop Grumman has a special place in the hearts and minds of all the workers who built it. USS New York (LPD 21), however, is truly special, because it contains 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel in its bow stem. In tangible terms, New York holds sacred the memory of the heroes and victims who died on Sept. 11, 2001. It’s also special because the shipbuilders who built it share a kindred spirit with the people of New York, a unique bond born from two separate tragedies. The shipbuilders who built New York endured their own tragedy with Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in our nation’s history. They felt an affinity with all New Yorkers because – even though the dimensions of the event were different – they also knew what it was like to experience loss and devastation as a result of a catastrophic disaster. Since then, restoring their personal lives has been paramount. With an eye toward the future, recovery, restoration, and rebirth have been dominant motivations. If certain indomitable qualities such as determination, resiliency, and perseverance were the driving forces in the personal recoveries of the builders of New York, these same qualities were also manifested when it came time to resume building the ship. Many of the workers were back in the shipyard within a couple of weeks after Katrina. They needed their jobs, of course, but they also felt compelled to continue building New York. They’re proud of the ship and they needed the ship, as did New Yorkers and the nation. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding President Mike Petters commended the workers at the New York christening ceremony in 2008: “I’m very proud of our shipbuilders who are building New York. They overcame many personal challenges and construction obstacles and they persevered. This ship literally symbolizes so much of what is great about our nation and Americans; our strength in overcoming tragedy, our tradition of honoring heroes, and our universal belief in a brighter future.” Such a special U.S. Navy vessel had its origins more than two decades ago when the Navy implemented new ways of procuring ships. This LPD 17 class acquisition reform movement led to new and innovative design processes as well as to major changes for future ships. In the beginning, increased emphasis was placed on incorporating shipbuilding considerations during the earliest stages of design. But despite these new design concepts and sophisticated computerized engineering tools that produced as near-complete design drawings as possible, building ships as


complex and innovative as New York was nonetheless a daunting challenge. It still required all the sweat equity, hands-on strength, and creative problem-solving that are part of all naval construction. New York was no different, and Northrop Grumman’s shipbuilders worked with their hands, heads, and hearts to make it happen. New York is big: 684 feet long, 105 feet wide, about 18 stories tall (more than twice the height of the Statue of Liberty if you stood it on end). It contains more than 500 miles of electrical cable, enough to reach from New York City to Cleveland, and then some. There are nearly 60 miles of pipe, and over 40 miles of fiber-optic cable, enough to install high-speed digital Internet service to 1,000 homes. It also contains more than 315 tons of paint, enough to paint nearly 2,000 average-sized homes, inside and out. So the task at hand was huge. New York features many first-of-a-kind capabilities, and it represented an ongoing learning experience for the builders. But it was an experience they welcomed and ultimately mastered. The builders compare it to a floating city, with the same infrastructure requirements, including generators and electrical systems, piping and plumbing systems, air-conditioning, heating, ventilation, living accommodations, food services, fire control, and medical facilities, to name just some of a city’s infrastructure requirements. But because this was also a warship, many additional capabilities were essential, including propulsion systems, command and control, combat, communications, tactical lift, and ship’s self-defense systems, among several others. According to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s LPD Program Manager Doug Lounsberry, overseeing this massive LPD 21 construction process were highly skilled and exceptionally motivated program managers, construction managers, and directors, all ably assisted by superintendents, line foremen, and thousands of workers. “Managing this complex job required detailed preparation, planning, and constant attention to budget

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

LPD 21 USS New York

Construction aboard the amphibious transport dock ship New York (LPD 21) at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s Gulf Coast shipyard. More than 11,000 tons of steel were used in building the ship’s hull.


Courtesy of Northrop Grumman

LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo

Above: Three veteran employees of Amite Foundry open the ladle containing more than 20 tons of molten steel from the World Trade Center. The steel became the bow stem of USS New York (LPD 21), named in honor of the victims and heroes of the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy. Left: Throughout her service to the nation, USS New York will carry a piece of New York City, the embodiment of the sacrifice of more than 3,000 New Yorkers.

and schedule,” noted Lounsberry. “We worked closely with the Navy from the outset as an Industry-Navy team, and we also had a strong working relationship with all the subcontractors and vendors who supported ship construction.” While a major management responsibility of a ship program manager is to pay close attention to schedule and budget, it also includes monitoring the daily work of the project’s directors and managers, along with hundreds of workers in many different crafts – welders, ship fitters, electricians, pipefitters, machinists, sheet metal mechanics, painters, and many others. “One of our biggest challenges is in sequencing all the craft work to achieve the highest possible first-time quality and avoid re-work, which is very costly and affects schedule,” explained LPD 21 Program Manager John Wilson. “At peak production,


Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

LPD 21 USS New York Left: Part of New York’s armament is a 30 mm cannon. The Mk. 46 Mod 1 is a remotely operated naval gun system using a 30 mm high-velocity cannon and second-generation thermal day-night sight for close-in ship’s protection. Built by General Dynamics, Mk. 46 Mod 1 is the naval derivative of the turret originally developed for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. Below, left: Pictured top to bottom, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding composites fitters Delwin Bass and Kimmy Lizana and fiberglass mechanic leaderman David Seals sand the joints of the New York‘s (LPD 21) aft lower mast in preparation for lamination. Production work at Northrop Grumman’s Gulfport Center of Excellence had restarted following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with all work being done on diesel-generator power and the company working with Mississippi Power to restore permanent electric hookup.

more than 1,300 workers are onboard during a single shift, and for them to be effective requires a manager’s understanding the entire scope of work and communicating effectively. We needed to be constantly focused on safety while also achieving the next construction milestone, and do so within budget. It demands constant attention and is a delicate balancing act.” Managers must be proactive and meticulous in planning all work to ensure that necessary tools are on hand and proper equipment is in the right place, at the right time, and in good working order. “We had to make sure all needed materials were flowing on board in a timely fashion,” noted John Lotshaw, who served as an LPD 21 ship director. “We needed to be creative and innovative in executing the work, and expect the unexpected. You have to be flexible, and keep the work moving, even if material is not there when you need it, or a crane malfunctions, or something else doesn’t go as planned.” The construction process begins with steel fabrication and assembly. New York is built with 11,250 tons of steel. It is made up of 210 ship modules, with each unit ranging in weight from about 30 tons to 140 tons. Steel plates and structural beams are welded together to form these ship units in the steel fabrication and assembly areas. Shipbuilders pre-outfitted units for New York with as much material as possible prior to their addition to the ship. “This is a critical step to improving


LPD 21 USS New York

efficiency and reducing the construction cycle time,” noted Dave Bergeron, who was director of unit construction in the build area. “Piping, ventilation, electrical wire-way hangers, ladders, gratings, and other components are all installed on the units prior to erection.” Package units are also built at this stage. “They consist of a skid or steel base, on which pumps, motors, piping, valves, gauges, and other instrumentation are installed,” continued Bergeron. “These packages are then installed either on units or directly on the ship. It’s much easier and safer on the worker and more cost-efficient to pre-outfit than it is to install everything inside the ship once it is erected.” Towering gantry cranes with lift capacities up to 300 tons raise units onto the ship in the building ways. Often, several units are blocked together into a grand block assembly and erected onto the ship by multiple cranes. “A 578-ton grand block assembly for New York consisting of six units was lifted by four cranes and set the sector record for ships,” noted Crane Department Superintendent Mike Norman. “Blocking multiple units for erection increases efficiency and reduces construction time. But all lifts require the utmost attention to safety, accuracy, and precision by all involved, including engineering, rigging, and safety.” The shipyard’s accuracy control experts, responsible for verifying accurate dimensions and measurements on ship units, played pivotal roles in New York’s construction from the beginning, utilizing advanced optical measuring tools and instruments to ensure the units matched up, fit properly, and were of high quality. According to LPD 21 Construction Manager Doug Blethen, the well-planned unit erection process and craftwork sequencing began from mid-ship over the keel, stretching out port and starboard, extending fore and aft, and ultimately, straight up. “Once the ship had taken shape, riggers and ship fitters landed and installed large pieces of equipment for the power and propulsion systems, including five generators, four main diesel propulsion engines, the 350-foot-long starboard propeller shaft and nearly 200-foot-long port propeller shaft, as well as the heavy struts and rudders.” Completing the more than 1,100 compartments and tanks on New York was critical to delivering the ship to the Navy. “The craftsmen assigned this task worked hard and often in cramped, tight spaces, but again, sequencing the right craft in the right order was very important to achieve compartment completion,” added Blethen, “and for the workers’ comfort and safety. We needed them to perform first-time, high-quality work.” Another challenge was pulling thousands of feet of cable throughout the ship, over and around sharp angles and through tight spaces. “The ship’s sheer size and configuration complicated this task, but good coordination and execution paid off,” explained LPD 21 Ship Superintendent Tommy Barrett. “It was a big, difficult job that required shipbuilder brawn and muscle to pull and connect all this cable to so many different systems.” Because New York carries upward of 800 Marines, extra wide passageways were built into the ship to better accommodate them and their full battle gear and weapons. “This is a marked improvement, allowing Marines to more easily embark on their missions from either the well deck or the flight deck,” said Gawain “Hank” Corcoran, who was a ship director for New York. “Even the location of the armory on this ship is different,

much closer to where the Marines need it to be for when they exit the ship.” Since New York accommodates a mixed gender crew, its builders not only had to include such obvious needs as separate living quarters, they also had to be aware of ergonomic design factors that differed from ships with an all-male crew. “Having female crew members also led to other ergonomic changes,” added Corcoran, “such as installing equipment, meters, and instruments at lower heights to accommodate shorter females who would operate them.” Installation of components for command and control, communications, combat, and weaponry and radar systems can be extremely intricate. On New York, these jobs were assigned to experienced technicians and electronics specialists who had experience in this type of work on previous LPD ships. Another LPD technological advancement on New York is the incorporation of stealth design features, which presented building challenges over earlier LPDs. According to Jay Jenkins, who was involved early on as an LPD program manager, the unique profile of these ships, with their two composite enclosed masts and the clean lines, are not just for aesthetics. “These elements are part of the stealth design to reduce the ship’s overall radar cross section,” said Jenkins, “making them more difficult for enemy radar to pick up and identify.” The angled projections on LPD ships’ hulls are a dramatic departure from the standard 45 or 90 degrees built into more conventional hulls. “A challenge to building stealthy ships is meeting the surface flatness tolerances on the shell plating and eliminating distortion of thin steel plates during welding,” explained Jenkins. “To solve this problem, our R&D experts developed a process called flame straightening. Very skilled craftsmen heated small areas of the plate and then rapidly cooled the spots with a spray of water, causing the steel to contract, and eliminating most of the surface deflection. Our craftsmen mastered this technique so it was not a major construction challenge on New York.” A different approach to topside design is also incorporated into New York’s stealth features. The absence of typical topside clutter, such as fire equipment racks, antennas, speakers, vents, and other hardware, further reduces the radar cross section. Workers were creative in finding ways to make the topside equipment retractable, portable, or stowable below deck – all with the stealth design idea of making the ship appear smaller on radar. Because metal reflects radar, special composites and other materials that absorb radar were used on New York, including reflective film for glass. The Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensor System consists of two large, eight-sided composite structures that enclose radar and communications antennas within an advanced hybrid frequency surface. These masts are the largest composite structures ever installed on U.S. Navy steel ships and they represent revolutionary advancement in topside design. They are designed to significantly reduce the ship’s radar cross section signature and are a dramatic departure from the traditional stick masts installed on previous Navy ships. The composite masts are built at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s Composite Center in Gulfport, Miss., where engineers and highly trained craftsmen work with special resin composite materials. They are regarded as some of the most knowledgeable and skillful professionals in the composites field.


LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corey Lewis

Cmdr. Curt Jones, prospective commanding officer of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit New York (LPD 21) signs the delivery document aboard the ship at 9:11 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2009. Also participating in the ceremony is Irwin F. Edenzon, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, and Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Region Capt. Mary Beth Dexter.

Another specialized material used on New York is titanium, a non-corrosive material that has an expensive up-front cost, but because of its durable qualities will require no maintenance and actually outlast the life of the ship. Primarily used for fire main and saltwater piping systems, approximately 12,000 feet of titanium pipe is on New York. Titanium is a very delicate and tricky material to work with, so welders underwent rigorous training to learn how to weld it to meet stringent Navy certification requirements. The welders have progressed to the point that Northrop Grumman’s titanium shop is widely recognized as a leader in the use of titanium in construction. Also new to the LPDs and New York is the Shipboard Wide Area Network (SWAN) that links all the ship’s systems by a computer and fiber optics network, supporting everything from combat systems to directions to the rudder. The development of the automated SWAN helped make it possible to dramatically reduce crew size. “Because all of the ship’s systems are linked by the SWAN, its proper installation was crucial for all of New York’s systems and operations to function properly,” explained Tommy Dufrene, who served as LPD 21 ship director. “So we made sure

that all the shipbuilders put early emphasis on accurately installing this vital shipboard network.” Dufrene added that not only was the SWAN complicated to install, but it was even more challenging to test. “Shipbuilders who tested this network on New York were aware that for the SWAN to pass testing, all of its components and electronic connections had to work flawlessly, so proper installation was critical and challenging.” Sadly, Dufrene passed away in December 2008 and did not get to see New York completed. But he was extremely important in this ship’s construction and is remembered by his fellow Northrop Grumman shipbuilders. His skill and dedication is a special example of the spirit instilled in New York during her construction. Despite the many challenges, shipbuilders are a hearty and robust group, especially those who built New York. Because of Katrina they faced serious personal problems and construction obstacles, but persevered. USS New York’s future in the Navy fleet and in service to America officially begins with the commissioning ceremony. But Northrop Grumman’s shipbuilders know that it really began years ago in their shipyard. “All of us at Northrop Grumman are proud and privileged to have played a part in bringing about this great new ship,” added Petters, “and we all wish her and her crew nothing but the best.”


A Ship, A State, A City, And Its People


istory shows that famous ships often carry pieces of the communities that made them. Copper spikes from Paul Revere’s Boston foundry secured the stout planking for the first six frigates of the U.S. Navy authorized by Congress in 1794. USS Philadelphia – lost in the war against the Barbary pirates in 1803 – was among them. Rarely has the bond between a ship and a community been more powerful than in the case of the USS New York (LPD 21). The nearly 700-foot-long amphibious warship carries seven and a half tons of recycled steel in its bow from the World Trade Center in memory of the 9/11 terror attacks. LPD 21’s commanding officer, Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones, of Binghamton, N.Y., is himself a native New Yorker. “Heroism literally is the backbone of this ship,” Jones said at New York’s christening in Avondale, La., in March 2008. The ship’s motto, “Strength Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget,” is a vivid reminder of the events of that day. It is this symbolism that will bind LPD 21 to generations of New Yorkers in years to come. But the ship’s ties to New York are as much about people as they are about symbols and mottos. Here, in their own words, is what the ship means to New Yorkers, and a few of their stories. The Siller family of Staten Island knows a lot about strength, sacrifice and not forgetting 9/11. On that day more than eight years, ago, Stephen Siller, a member of Squad 1, an elite rescue unit of the Fire Department of New York, had just finished the overnight shift at his firehouse in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The father of five was off duty and driving home to spend the day with his family. Siller heard on his scanner about the attack on the Twin Towers. He immediately turned around and sped toward


the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel – hoping to join his unit at the Trade Center. When police told him that cars weren’t allowed through the tunnel, he strapped on his fire-fighting gear and dashed along the tunnel catwalk toward Lower Manhattan. A passing fire truck picked up Siller and drove him to West Street, near Ground Zero. That was the last time anyone saw him alive. Family members believe that he met up with his Squad 1 teammates and went to save lives in the towers, where they died together. One thing the Siller family did over the last seven years to keep Stephen’s memory alive was to organize a “Tunnel to Towers” run every year on Sept. 29. The 1.7-mile race traces the firefighter’s course on that fateful morning. Twenty-five thousand people signed up for the last run, and their numbers surge each year. The Sillers have used the tunnel run and other events to raise more than $4 million to aid military families and other causes. The commissioning of USS New York has a special meaning for Frank Siller, Stephen’s brother. “To me, my brother was a firefighter who had an option [on 9/11],” Frank said. “Stephen was on his way home from work. He turned around, went back and ran through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to get to the Towers, where he perished with 343 other firefighters. To me, that’s a direct correlation with our military and our first responders and the strength and courage they always show in protecting this great country. This steel that came from Ground Zero to me shows the strength and resolve that America always has and which is not going to go away. This war on terror is going to be an everlasting battle. And we have to have the backbone of the steel [in this ship] that was taken from Ground Zero to stand up and continue to protect America.”

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Corey T. Lewis

By Doug Tsuruoka

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Eric J. Tilford

U.S. Navy Photos by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson

LPD 21 USS New York

Opposite page: Sailors assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New York (LPD 21) have a moment of silence for fallen New York City first responders and civilian victims as they touch a steel beam recovered from the World Trade Center. The ship has 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel in her bow. Above: A firefighter emerges from the smoke and debris of the World Trade Center. Right: While working around-the-clock to find survivors, a rescue worker takes a moment to reflect on the impact of the devastating terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. It was an emotional time for the rescue workers because many of them had lost co-workers and friends in the day’s devastation. Bottom, right: A lone fire engine at the crime scene in Manhattan where the World Trade Center collapsed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Surrounding buildings were heavily damaged by the debris and massive force of the falling Twin Towers.

The name “USS New York” reportedly had its genesis in a letter that former New York Gov. George E. Pataki wrote to then-Navy Secretary Gordon England shortly after 9/11. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City also wrote to the secretary. They asked the Navy to revive the name “USS New York” in honor of 9/11’s victims and to confer it to a surface warship involved in the war on terror. Although until then it was Navy policy to reserve state names for nuclear submarines, they asked that an exception be made so the name New York could be given to a surface ship. The request was granted in August 2002. When news of the ship-naming was announced, it was done from the deck of the former carrier USS Intrepid, the floating air and space museum docked at Pier 86 on Manhattan’s West Side on Sept. 7, 2002. Officials involved in the project informed the public at this time that the new Navy ship would carry steel from the World Trade Center in its bow. Publishing consultant Russell MacAusland is descended from a long line of New England sea captains and soldiers. The


U.S. Navy photos by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson

LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class George Trian

Left: Rescue workers conduct search and rescue attempts, descending deep into the rubble of the World Trade Center. Above: Workers pour steel, recycled from the World Trade Center, into a mold, which would form the bow stem of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), at the Amite Foundry. About 24 tons of steel was salvaged from the World Trade Center. Approximately 10 percent of the steel was lost when the foundry superheated the 48,780 pounds of steel to 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit.

19th-century clipper ship William H. Prescott, which sailed out of Salem, Mass., was named after his great-great-grandfather, a famous U.S. historian. His great-great-great-great-greatgrandfather, Minuteman Col. William Prescott, led Continental troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. It was his ancestor who shouted, “Don’t fire until you can see the whites of their eyes!” as the Redcoats attacked. MacAusland was at home on the morning of 9/11 when he learned of the attack on the Twin Towers. He raced to the roof of his Midtown Manhattan apartment building with a pair of binoculars. He saw the billowing black smoke and the men and women trapped on the upper floors. He will never forget what he saw that day. Said MacAusland: “In colonial times, the Minutemen provided a select, highly mobile, and rapidly deployable force, qualities that the USS New York will provide our country going forward.” Dennis McKeon is executive director of Where To Turn, a support group for 9/11 survivors and their families. “I’ve had discussions with many 9/11 families and most are very supportive of the fact that steel from the World Trade Center is being used in the ship. It’s because it keeps alive the memories of those who died,” McKeon said. McKeon says the emotional symbolism of the steel in the New York’s bow can’t be overstated. “At least a portion of the steel from the Trade Center is being used to support our military personnel in the war on terror,” McKeon said. Where To Turn is busy with its own project to honor the victims of 9/11. They’re searching for an exhibition site to house a 16,000-square-foot quilt that lists the names of everyone who

died. The huge patchwork was made by artist Corey Gammel. “It has photos and other personal items sewn into it. It’s a pretty phenomenal thing, and we plan to house it in a renovated building on Staten Island,” McKeon said. Younger New Yorkers also feel the ship’s connection to 9/11. The New York Military Youth Cadets provides a military-based program for boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18. The goal of the Queens-based nonprofit group is to instill self-confidence, discipline, and respect for society in kids from some of the toughest neighborhoods in the city. “At the time of 9/11, I was only 6 years old and in school,” said Cadet Corp. Perez Jesus. “I remember being told by my teacher that the city had been attacked. Everyone was real scared and confused. It was not until three years later that I joined the cadets, and it was there that I began to learn and understand what had happened. I’m 13 years old now and because of being a cadet, I have met older cadets who are now serving in the armed forces, and I have come to understand what took place that day and the fact that if it were not for those who serve we would not be able to live in the freedom that we have. Some [former cadets] enlisted because of what took place that day and have served in Iraq and returned safely, and others are serving at the present time. This is why I feel that the USS New York represents that commitment to defend this country and our way of life.” “The USS New York means peace of mind and a feeling of safety,” said 14-year-old Cadet Corp. Gabriela Mejia. “We can go to sleep knowing that our sailors are protecting us and the rest of the world.” Jonathan Salazar, an adult staff member of the cadets said: “I’m 19 now, but when I was 12, I lived through the events of 9/11. With the building of the USS New York, I know the rest of the world will get to see the resolve of the people of New York and be reminded that we will never forget.”


U.S. Marine Corps photo by GSgt. Chris Randazzo

USS New York LPD 21

Wounded warriors await the start of the 8th Annual Tunnel-To-Towers Run in New York City on Sept. 27, 2009. The run commemorates Firefighter Stephen Siller, New York City Fire Department, who ran 3.1 miles through the tunnel connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, carrying 70 pounds of gear to assist at the World Trade Center before dying in the towers’ collapse.

Brooklyn baseball writer and historian Tom Knight says that metal building material from the city’s past sometimes occupies an ironic place in history. In the 1930s, Knight, 82, recalls that the rusting iron girders from the Fifth Avenue elevated subway tracks in Brooklyn were dismantled and sold as scrap metal to Japan several years before Pearl Harbor. The same thing happened to the Second Avenue elevated subway in Manhattan. “All that iron went to Japan. People used to say that pieces of the El [came back as shells and bombs] that killed a lot of Americans during World War II,” said Knight, who holds the title, “Official Baseball Historian of Brooklyn,” and whose ancestors fought with the Union Army in the Civil War. But of the steel from the Trade Center in the New York’s bow, Knight said: “It’s a great memorial for those who died. I lost a lot of friends on 9/11. I don’t think anything like this has ever been done before.” It’s fitting to end this story about USS New York by talking about another uncanny coincidence that binds LPD 21 even more tightly to the city and state for which it’s named. It’s a direct connection to what historians say was one of the first ships to drop anchor in New York Harbor nearly 400 years ago. In the late summer of 1613, Dutch captain Adriaen Block and his ship Tyger visited the tip of Lower Manhattan to trade muskets for animal skins with the local Lenape Indians. Disaster struck in November when a fire broke out in Tyger’s hold and burned the ship to the waterline. Block and


his crew were forced to winter over, building crude cabins that represented the first European community on Manhattan Island – not far from where St. Paul’s Church and Ground Zero stand today. The Dutchmen salvaged sails and other fittings from Tyger before she burned. By the following spring, they had cobbled together another ship, Onrust or “Restless,” with help from the Native Americans. They used their new ship to explore the East River and Long Island Sound, venturing as far north as Cape Cod, before returning to Europe in 1614. Born of fire, Onrust, with timbers hewn from the then primeval forests of Manhattan, was literally the first ship to be built and launched in the great bay that later became New York Harbor. The story is amazing in its own right. Yet something else happened a few centuries later that connects Tyger directly to USS New York and 9/11. In 1916, work crews digging a tunnel for New York City’s first subway line uncovered some ancient timbers near the intersection of what’s now Greenwich and Dey Streets. It turned out to be the prow and keel of Tyger, just as Block’s crew had abandoned it four centuries earlier. The wreck was found buried with an old Dutch ax, beads, and other objects that historians said made it certain that it was Block’s ship. The charred prow was hastily excavated, preserved, and eventually displayed in the Marine Gallery of the Museum of the City of New York. What remained of the ship was reburied

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

LPD 21 USS New York

USS New York will embody the memory of those who died on 9/11, as well as the strength and resolve of those who remember them.

and lay undisturbed until 1968, when work began on the first World Trade Center site. According to Unearthing Gotham by Anne-Marie E. Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall, officials of the South Street Seaport Museum realized that work on the 110-story Twin Towers was taking place almost on the exact spot where the Tyger’s keel had been covered over a half century earlier. The museum recruited two urban archaeologists – Bert Salwen and Ralph Solecki – to recover the rest of the Tyger before the bulldozers got to it. The two men dug at a spot about 20 feet below ground, some yards east of where the North Tower of the Trade Center was being built. After weeks of painstaking work, they found nothing. One explanation is that the coordinates were off and that Salwen and Solecki dug in the wrong spot. This is likely, since the archaeologists, at the time, had information that hardhats had

found an old flintlock pistol and other Dutch artifacts nearby. In all probability, what was left of the Tyger became part of the permanent foundation of 1 World Trade Center. So the story turns full circle – the timbers of one of the first ships to moor in New York City likely became part of the soaring glass and steel of what was for a few years the tallest building on Earth. And it is a few of the steel girders hurled down in that inferno on 9/11 that today form the bow of USS New York. “Blessing a vessel has been a part of maritime culture for thousands of years,” said Reverend David M. Rider, president and executive director of the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey, a 175-year-old nonprofit that aids merchant sailors. “We bless a ship when we dedicate it with symbols of our hope for strength and safety. This new ship by its very nature is imbued with the hopes and blessings of a resilient people with a rich history.”


U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kyle D. Gahlau

USS New York LPD 21 The aircraft carier USS Kitty Hawk (CVN 63) sails in formation with Australian, Canadian, South Korean, and U.S. Navy ships during a Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2008 exercise group photo off the coast of Hawaii. Kitty Hawk was taking part in RIMPAC with units from the United States, Australia, Chile, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Exercises such as RIMPAC are examples of the everyday execution of “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,� as was the homeporting in Japan of the Kitty Hawk and her battle group. Kitty Hawk has now been replaced by USS George Washington (CVN 73).


LPD 21 USS New York

The Way Ahead for America’s Sea Services A Strategy for the 21st Century By Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo, USNR (Ret.)

During the past three decades, the U.S. Navy has published a number of strategies. Those documents not only determined how U.S. naval power would be employed, they also helped determine the kind of weapons and the number of people the Navy needed to support U.S. national policy. The first of those strategies was the white paper initiated in the late 1970s by then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Thomas Hayward. The challenge at the time, as Hayward put it, was that the United States had “a one-and-a-half ocean navy for a threeocean commitment.” The white paper, called “The Future of the United States Navy,” became the cornerstone of the dramatic rebuilding of the Navy during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, and it was the strategic rationale for the “six hundred-ship” force shaped by then-Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman. In the opinion of many, that Reagan-era Navy played an indispensable role in the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. Then, toward the end of 1992, the Navy and Marine Corps published a new strategy called “…From the Sea.” It began: “The world has changed dramatically in the last two years, and America’s national security policy has also changed … our strategy has shifted from a focus on a global threat to a focus on regional challenges and opportunities.” One of the different elements of “…From the Sea” was its recognition of the need for “capabilities required in the complex operating environment of the ‘littoral’ or coastlines of the earth.” During the initial years of the 21st century, “…From the Sea” was adjusted to match the continuingly shifting geopolitical landscape. In October 2007, again based on a changed geopolitical landscape, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard jointly published “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” The preface spells out a new approach to creating a coherent strategy:


USS New York LPD 21

“Never before have the maritime forces of the United States – the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard – come together to create a unified maritime strategy. This strategy stresses an approach that integrates seapower with other elements of national power, as well as those of our friends and allies. It describes how seapower will be applied around the world to protect our way of life, as we join with other like-minded nations to protect and sustain the global, inter-connected system through which we prosper. Our commitment to protecting the homeland and winning our Nation’s wars is matched by a corresponding commitment to preventing war.”

An Unusual Process The strategy that follows that statement is the result of a process that had begun a year earlier, and it recognizes that the strategic landscape has once again changed radically; how radically was violently underscored by 9/11. In the new “Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,” the emphasis shifts from the possibility of a symmetrical, large-scale war, accompanied by the probability of regional conflicts, to the actuality of an asymmetrical war – including direct attacks on the United States – plus the possibility of symmetrical war with one or more national powers. To complicate today’s strategic challenges, a broad spectrum of dangerous geopolitical problems are playing out beyond – sometimes far beyond – the initial arenas of ongoing, asymmetrical combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are, for example, Iran and North Korea embarked on


nuclear weapons programs, an increasingly aggressive and rearming Russia, constant armed violence in various formats in the Middle East, unfriendly and bellicose behavior by anti-United States dictators in the Caribbean, destabilizing terrorist attacks in Pakistan and India (both nuclear powers) and other areas of Asia and Africa, pirates practicing their trade in a strategic portion of the oil tanker route off the coast of Somalia, and a global economic collapse with significant strategic implications, to name a few. It was indeed a time for a revised seapower strategy to meet the more diffused and more immediate threats. Faced with the radically different geostrategic paradigm, the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard did more than set out to develop parallel strategies, they got together to develop a common strategy. It was, as the strategy itself states: “a historical first.” The nation’s three sea services began the process by introducing a surprising element to the methodology to be used for framing a new maritime strategy. In addition to reaching out to expected sources, such as the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, combat and component commanders, and relevant Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard components, the three maritime services introduced a distinctly non-military aspect to the process: They sought input from local community leaders, civilian opinion makers, and civic groups. This “thinking outside the box” was called “A Conversation with the Country.” That notably different initial part of the process was led by Navy Vice Adm. John G. Morgan, Jr., then-Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information, Plans, and Strategy.

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Adam Cohen

An F/A-18 Hornet from the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 flies over Afghanistan during routine operations. VFA-31 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was on a scheduled deployment in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States’ commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.

LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assist U.S. citizens departing from the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. At the request of the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon and at the direction of the secretary of defense, the United States Central Command and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24 MEU) assisted with the departure of U.S. citizens from Lebanon. Forward presence of naval assets greatly speeds the reaction time required for such operations.

In a letter of invitation to one local session that was part of the “conversation,” Morgan pointed out, “Exactly how these forces (Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) should be employed to support national policy objectives in this new and complex security environment is the subject of an ongoing discussion.” He went on to describe the civilian outreach he was leading: “We are seeking the ideas and opinions of distinguished men and women from all walks of life, which will help to inform the analyses we are conducting through more traditional means.”

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jeffrey A. Cosola

The Product One of the most noteworthy features of the strategy that resulted was the greater degree to which it commits the three maritime services to cooperation among themselves. Interservice cooperation has been a rallying cry among the military services since World War II, but the new strategy moves significantly beyond commitment; it’s a call to assertive action. In addition, the new strategy requires seriously increased cooperation with U.S. economic, political, and military partners around the world. In this respect, it reflects a global view of maritime defense based on the strong links between maritime

power and the ongoing trends toward a steadily increasing global interdependence among the world’s nations. Those interservice and international aspects of the strategy recognize a need to preserve peace and prosperity as well as win wars. Finally, the new strategy puts increased emphasis on the inherent flexibility of naval power to meet the expanding and shifting challenges of an asymmetrical war in which indiscriminate terror is the main weapon. It also recognizes the need to meet a conceptually and geographically wide variety of future contingencies. At its heart, the new “Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower” identifies six core capabilities that must be maintained for it to work successfully: forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security, and finally, humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

Forward Presence Forward presence of naval forces increases the efficiency of the strategy. In particular, reacting to an emergency immediately and on scene often resolves or mitigates a problem at a reduced cost of money, materiel,


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Deterrence The Cooperative Strategy states: “Preventing war is preferable to fighting wars,” and this involves the proactive use of maritime forces to raise the negative potential of war for potential enemies. This capability encourages the resolution of disputes through diplomacy. This capability is, however, inescapably linked to a credible national will that naval force will be used – as a last resort – when the safety of the United States and its people is threatened. This is an important point that is often missed: there must be the will for the presence of the way to be a credible deterrent.

Sea Control Free access to the seas is a prerequisite to the use of naval power. If those who would do us harm control ocean choke

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Logico

and lives than would be expended after the emergency had expanded with time. Evacuating U.S. citizens trapped in a combat zone, as has happened in the Middle East, or delivering humanitarian aid in a natural disaster, as is done regularly after hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other natural catastrophes, are examples. In a military context, reacting to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait before he had time to consolidate his conquest contributed to the ability to oust him without a prolonged military campaign and greater loss of life. Forward deployment of naval forces also provides visible evidence of the U.S. commitment to its partners around the world, as well as the ability to join with them quickly to meet mutual threats. The U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and the U.S. 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific have been highly visible examples of this capability, as is the homeporting of an aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.

LPD 21 USS New York Opposite page: The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) is anchored off the island coast of Weno, part of Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia, during Pacific Partnership 2008. Mercy is the primary platform for Pacific Partnership, a four-month humanitarian mission providing engineering, civic, medical, and dental assistance to Southeast Asia and Oceania. Humanitarian assistance is a central element of the seapower strategy. Right: A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point C-130 crew flies over USS Crommelin (FFG 37), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the FSS Independence, a patrol boat from the Federated States of Micronesia, patrolling in the Western Pacific Ocean. Both the Coast Guard and Navy have shared goals of protecting the fragile ecosystems of Oceania as well as enforcing maritime laws throughout mutual areas of responsibility.

points, if local law contravenes long-standing international custom by denying access to ocean areas traditionally open to all nations, if an enemy is capable of denying U.S. use of an ocean area through the use of submarines, or if modern-day pirates are able to threaten commercial sea lanes, execution of a credible maritime strategy becomes increasingly difficult.

Power Projection

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse

This element of the strategy emphasizes the ability of such elements of U.S. naval power as carrier battle groups, embarked Navy-Marine Corps expeditionary forces, submarines, or special warfare units to apply national power where and when needed and at times and places that are inconvenient for our enemies. Advanced technology aircraft, large-deck aircraft carriers, flexible and hard-hitting expeditionary warfare forces, technologically advanced submarines, and adaptable littoral combat ships are among the elements of this maritime capability. As was the case with deterrence, this is a strategic element that is closely linked to the national will to employ naval forces in something more than a purely defensive posture. It requires a national consensus that offensive capability is an ongoing part of a sound seapower strategy.

Maritime Security


The ability of all nations to use the oceans for non-aggressive purposes is a strategic companion to the U.S. ability to use the oceans for its defense. This element of the strategy is closely connected with the need for increased interoperability with other navies and coast guards around the world. Realistic and ongoing training with allies and potential allies is basic to this element of the strategy.

In November 2008, the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughhead published a description of the Navy Ethos. In many ways it is the necessary companion of “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” It defines the most basic Navy values that sustain the strategy’s core capabilities. It adds the people factor to the equation by identifying, in the Chief of Naval Operation’s words: “our service’s overarching set of beliefs, embracing Navy core values.” To characterize the Navy Ethos in 21st century terms, the Chief of Naval Operations reached out for input from active duty and Reserve component, as well as civilian employees of the Navy throughout the world. The articulation that emerged reflects how the members of today’s Navy define themselves, and it reads: “We are the United States Navy, our nation’s seapower – ready guardians at peace, victorious at war. We are professional sailors and civilians – a diverse and agile force exemplifying the highest standards of service to our nation, at home and abroad, at sea and ashore. Integrity is the

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response This component of the strategy is an extension of all of the other elements of the strategy and it involves the move of humanitarian assistance from a corollary of naval activity to a central element in a seapower strategy. The rapidly transportable technical capabilities of Navy ships and squadrons, the skills of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel, and the underlying goodwill of Americans are all part of this core capability.


LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric L. Beauregard

Members of a visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) team from the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and U.S. Coast Tactical Law Enforcement Team South Detachment 409 capture suspected pirates after responding to a merchant vessel distress signal while operating in the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of responsibility as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151. CTF 151 is a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the CMF area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt, and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations.

foundation of our conduct; respect for others is fundamental to our character; decisive leadership is crucial to our success. We are a team, disciplined and well-prepared, committed to mission accomplishment. We do not waver in our dedication and accountability to our shipmates and families. We are patriots, forged by the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment; in times of war and peace, our actions reflect our proud heritage and tradition. We defend our nation and prevail in the face of adversity with strength, determination and dignity. We are the United States Navy.” At a U.S. Naval Institute conference in February 2009, a junior Marine Corps officer commented on his career motivation in a panel discussion. He talked of seeing the events of 9/11 unfold on television and why he and others have enlisted in the Marine Corps. In summing up, he said: “Simply put, it’s because we want to win.” In blunt Marine Corps style, he managed to express the basic rationale for a maritime strategy within an ethos supporting its execution, and he did it in eight words.

On Any Given Day “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower” is a real-time guide for Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard support of national policy, but in the end, it must be defined by actions, the specifics that add up to the future safety and prosperity of ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. Following are a few typical examples of the everyday execution of the Cooperative Strategy at a variety of locations. The items provide representative “snapshots” of what the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard were doing on any given day during 2008: • Feb. 20 – USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group departed Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for ongoing combat support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the maintenance of maritime theater security in its area of operations. • Feb. 20 – USS San Jacinto conducted operations in the Black Sea with NATO and Partnership-for-Peace units from Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine.


LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Don Bray

The guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77), the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force destroyer Setogiri (DD 156), and the guided-missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) steam in formation during a photo exercise for the Rim of the Pacific 2008 exercise.

• • • •

March 1 – the future USS New York (LPD 21) was christened by Dotty Hennlein England at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. New York is the fifth of nine San Antonio-class expeditionary warships that are designed to deliver U.S. Marines when and where they are needed to forestall – or resolve on favorable terms – global threats. April 15 – USS Hawaii, the new Virginia-class submarine, was under way in the Caribbean as part of Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) counter drug trafficking operations. May 14 – USNS Mercy was under way to begin a four-month humanitarian assistance program that partnered the U.S. Navy with U.S. nongovernmental agencies for assistance projects in five Pacific Rim countries. June 9 – The Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise began, with participation by navy, marine, air force, and coast guard units from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States. The 10 nations provided 35 ships, 150 aircraft, and 20,000 personnel for

• • • • • • • • •

the multinational exercise that emphasized interoperability on a wide range of maritime missions. June 13 – USS Essex Expeditionary Strike Group with U.S. Marines embarked was under way after participation in exercise Cobra Gold 08 with Thai military units. Cobra Gold 08 included four U.S. Navy amphibious ships and the Marines’ 3rd Expeditionary Brigade. June 13 – U.S. Navy Reserve Component sailors from Expeditionary Port Unit 106 supported port operations at Kuwait Naval Base. July 24 – U.S. Navy Reserve Component sailors from Naval Air Systems Command carried out aircraft structural repairs for Navy and Marine Corps forces in Iraq. Sept. 12 – USS Kearsage and her embarked Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 delivered an estimated 114 metric tons of disaster relief supplies to Haiti. The mission was triggered by the damage caused by tropical storms and Hurricane Ike and involved close cooperation with civilian relief organizations. Sept. 18 – 525 students were in training to become U.S. Navy SEALS and Special Warfare combat-craft crew members in Coronado, Calif. Oct. 17 – USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) was under way conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet’s Mediterranean area of operations. Oct. 17 – USS Elrod (FFG 55) completed a port visit to Lobity, Angola, in support of Africa Partnership Station. Nov. 8 – USS Freedom, built by the Lockheed Martin/ Martin Marinette shipbuilding team as one of the first of the Navy’s new littoral combat ships, was commissioned in Milwaukee, Wisc. Nov. 12 – USS Theodore Roosevelt’s Carrier Air Wing Eight flew more than 30 sorties in support of coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan.

A Focus on the Future The conclusion of “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower” emphasizes opportunities and optimism. It also reemphasizes the collaborative manner in which the strategy must be carried out. Its final statement reflects all of the features of a durable strategy, one that is working, and one that has earned the ongoing support of the U.S. citizens it is protecting: “United States seapower is a force for good, protecting this nation even as it joins with others to promote security and prosperity around the globe.”


USS New York LPD 21


The United States entered World War II 27 months after it began officially with Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September 1939. It took a direct Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941, and a German declaration of war four days later to get us fully engaged. While we slept, Hitler extended his dominion over most of Europe and invaded Russia, with excellent prospects for success. In the east, Japan extended her empire to Manchuria, eastern China, Indo-China, Burma, the Malay Peninsula and Singapore, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and Thailand. Italy, the third Axis power, proved more of a burden than a help to her allies. Germany and Japan alone, however, were powerful enough to create a new totalitarian order in the world. But they had to move quickly, before the United States became aroused, since neither had the industrial capacity to defeat us. Fortunately, their hubris blinded them to this fundamental reality, and they awakened the sleeping giant in the nick of time. Once in the war, the United States became the leader of a tripartite alliance with the British and Russian empires − a strange coalition that Hitler, until the very end, thought would fall apart. The first job of the Allies was to stop German and Japanese advances. This happened quicker than anyone expected. The Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941 failed to reach Leningrad, Moscow, or the Caucasus before the onset of winter, and once the fighting resumed in May 1942, Hitler was defeated at Stalingrad in a few months. Japanese expansion was halted even sooner − at the Battle of the Coral Sea the first week of May 1942, and a month later at the Battle of Midway.


Having stopped the Axis advances, the Allies then had to roll them back − a daunting task. The United States was required to mount expeditionary assaults in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific on a scale never before imagined. Misguided disarmament policies after World War I had left us militarily unprepared, forcing our armed forces to pay dearly while we got fully geared up to fight. By the middle of 1943, however, America’s industrial strength was totally engaged, and our superb political and military leadership, supported by the indomitable patriotism of our fighting men and women, doomed our enemies. Even though ultimate victory was never in doubt, the Axis fought with a tenacity that tried our soul. Germany’s relative

U.S. Marine Corps Historical Center

U.S. Marines in Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel (LCVPs) head for the beach at Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945, during the initial landings. Mount Suribachi looms in the background, and to its left is USS New York (BB 34), bombarding Japanese positions.

strength led Roosevelt and Churchill in 1941 to give the European Theater priority, but because of Pearl Harbor, America was not about to ignore the Pacific. Thus, we fought a gigantic, two-ocean war simultaneously, carrying nearly the entire burden against Japan. America’s Army chief, Gen. George Marshall, recommended a cross-channel invasion in 1942 aimed directly at the heart of Germany, taking advantage of Hitler’s preoccupation with Russia. Churchill and Roosevelt, however, decided they were not yet ready and opted instead for a landing in North Africa in November 1942. With Hitler still distracted in Russia, a combined AmericanBritish expeditionary force under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower made a remarkable crossing of the Atlantic, avoiding German U-boats, and began landing in Morocco and Algeria on Nov. 8, 1942. Because Vichy Adm. Jean-Francois Darlan decided to

change sides, the Allied landings at Oran, Algiers, and Casablanca met minimal resistance. Eisenhower pressed on toward Tunis to meet British Gen. Bernard Montgomery’s Eighth Army − fresh from its triumph at Alamein in early September. They planned to trap German Gen. Erwin Rommel in Tunis, thus reclaiming all of North Africa. Hitler, however, despite being bogged down in Russia, reinforced Rommel, igniting a long battle that did not end until May 13, 1943. Even before Eisenhower’s landing, an American expeditionary force on Aug. 7, 1942, landed on Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands in the southwestern Pacific, to start rolling back Japanese conquests. Only 2,200 Japanese guarded the island and its unfinished airbase, making the initial amphibious landing relatively easy for the U.S. Marines. But the Japanese high command, realizing this was just the beginning, made a mighty effort to defeat us. As Tokyo committed more


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National Archives photos

resources, the fighting turned grim, lasting until Feb. 7, 1943. Sixteen hundred American Marines and soldiers died and 4,200 were wounded, while 23,000 Japanese soldiers were killed. Five major naval battles were fought, in which a combined total of 24 warships were sunk. The number of sailors and airmen lost was heavy. In every theater, amphibious landings were the hallmarks of American expeditionary forces, as we became highly proficient at combining, in the words of Samuel Eliot Morison, “air, surface,

submarine, and ground forces to project fighting power irresistibly across the ocean.” Learning and improving as we went along, we nonetheless paid a heavy price in blood for not being prepared earlier. By the summer of 1943, American industry was producing weapons in stupendous quantities. “The United States Navy … enjoyed almost an embarrassment of riches,” wrote British historian John Keegan. Large, Essex-class carriers; light, Independence-class carriers; escort carriers; new battleships; refur-

bished old battleships; heavy and light cruisers; dozens of new destroyers; new, fast transports; cargo vessels; and large numbers of specialized support ships were all being built. To make our fleets even more devastating, we developed the capacity to operate them at long distances from their bases for extended periods. Utilizing specially designed ships for fuel, repair, ammunition, spare parts, and other supplies, medical services, and even floating dry docks, American expeditionary forces, particularly our fast carriers, could operate at heretofore unheard of distances from their home bases for a long time. In addition, the supply forces allowed us to set up advanced bases rapidly and to re-supply them quickly. We developed nine different landing and beach craft – LSTs (Landing Ship,

Left: U.S. Marines of the 1st Marine Division storm ashore from their landing craft at Guadalcanal on Aug. 7, 1942. The initial landing was essentially uncontested, but thereafter the Japanese fought a grim battle against the Marines. Below: Landing Ships, Tank (LSTs) at the French naval base of La Pecherie in Tunisia take M-4 Sherman tanks aboard two days before the invasion of Sicily in July 1943. Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel (LCVPs) wait in the harbor just beyond the tanks, which are equipped with wading gear.


USS New York LPD 21

Tank), LVTs (Landing Vehicle, Tracked−amphtracs) LCMs (Landing Ship, Mechanized−tank loaded), LSDs (Landing Ship, Dock), LCPs (Landing Ship, Personnel), LCIs (Landing Ship, Infantry), LCTs (Landing Craft, Tank), LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicles and Personnel), and LSMs (Landing Ship, Medium), as well as the amphibious truck, DUKW. American factories produced in excess of 80,000 of these indispensable vehicles. They played essential roles in the amphibious landings at Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Southern France, Normandy, and against the Japanese on New Guinea, the Solomons, the Philippines,


the Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana Islands, and on Okinawa. Supported by America’s stupendous productivity, the war to reclaim Europe and the Pacific proceeded, after the middle of 1943, at an accelerated pace. On the night of July 9-10, 1943, Eisenhower landed troops on Sicily’s southern beaches. “There can be no drawn battle, no half-success, in an amphibious landing,” Morison wrote, “it is win all splendidly or lose all miserably.” The combined American-British force, unlike the confused earlier landings in North Africa, got ashore with

National Archives

The first wave of Marines hits the beach at Saipan from their Landing Vehicles, Tracked (LVTs), and take cover behind a sand dune while waiting for the following three waves to come in.

National Archives

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U.S. Army 1st Division troops wade into the fight at Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 6, 1944, from a Coast Guard-manned LCVP.


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National Archives

Two Coast Guard-manned LSTs open their great jaws in the surf that washes on Leyte Island beach, as soldiers strip down and build sandbag piers out to the ramps to speed up unloading operations.


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Marine Corps Historical Center

A group of Marines in the Iwo Jima beachhead get organized as preparations are made for movement inland. Behind them is one of the specialized LVT (A)-4s, with its turreted 75 mm howitzer for destroying pillboxes and strongpoints.

little difficulty, utilizing the new seagoing landing craft: LSTs – LCTs, LCIs, and DUKWs – to good effect. In the first 48 hours, 80,000 men were ashore and more than 8,000 assorted tanks and vehicles. By Aug. 16, Sicily was liberated. Subsequent landings on the Italian mainland at Salerno in September 1943, and at Anzio in January 1944, were more difficult. Under Gen. Albert Kesselring, the Germans fought hard to prevent American Gen. Mark Clark’s four divisions from acquiring a foothold at Salerno, but the dogged G.I.s, supported by naval gunfire, naval air, and groundbased air, succeeded within a week in establishing a beachhead. Kesselring retreated, and Clark took Naples on Oct. 1. Making a large commitment of men to force the Nazis out of Italy, however, was questionable, since tying down a substantial number of German units could have been accomplished just as well by a low-casualty holding operation south of Rome. In the Pacific, a dual road to Tokyo was planned, whereby Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. William F. Halsey would move simultaneously up the coast of New Guinea and the Solomons, with a view to crushing the main Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain and then re-taking the Philippines as a prelude to

striking Japan itself. The second track, supported by Adm. Ernest King, chief of Naval Operations, and led by Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, would conduct amphibious attacks on Japanese bases in the Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana Islands, preparatory to joining in the attack on the Philippines and then Japan. Bases at Guam, Tinian, Saipan, and Okinawa were to be used for the strategic bombing of the Japanese homeland. Although there were enormous difficulties along the way, this two-pronged strategy worked well, and in a remarkably short time. Things were speeded up when Nimitz began the practice of leapfrogging, starting with Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands. The battle for Tarawa was four days of bloody hell, Nov. 19-23, 1943. One thousand Marines and sailors lost their lives and double that number were wounded. All the Japanese defenders were killed. Weakly defended Makin was taken easily on Nov. 24, but the Japanese deployed nine submarines against the attack force, and they exacted a heavy toll. Next on Nimitz’s agenda were the Marshall Islands. On Jan. 31, 1944, U.S. forces landed on the northern islands of Kwajalein Atoll, and the next day on the much larger Kwajalein Island itself.

All told, Americans landed on 30 of the atoll’s various islets, and by Feb. 7, 1944, were in full control. The hard lessons learned at Tarawa were put to good use. Three hundred seventy-two American Marines and soldiers died, and nearly 8,000 Japanese. Nimitz kept up the momentum. On Feb. 14, American forces attacked Eniwetok Atoll, and simultaneously hit Truk Island, a major Japanese base. Eniwetok was taken by Feb. 22 at a cost of 339 Americans and almost 2,700 Japanese − nearly their entire force. No amphibious landing was needed to neutralize Truk. Guam, Tinian, and Saipan in the Mariana Islands were next. Japan considered Saipan part of her home islands. Three thousand five hundred miles from Pearl Harbor and 1,000 from Eniwetok, the Marianas required an unprecedented sea effort against fanatical Japanese resistance. From June 15 to Aug. 12, the battle raged. In the midst of the fight for the Marianas, the Battle of the Philippine Sea took place from June 19 to 21. It was the greatest of the carrier battles of the war and destroyed Japanese naval air power. After this great victory, the Marianas were secured, but at a mind-numbing price. Three thousand four hundred and twenty-six American soldiers and Marines died on Saipan alone, while the Japanese − fighting till the last man again − lost 24,000. While we were fighting for the Marianas, the supreme battle for Europe commenced with the greatest amphibious landing of them all at Normandy on June 6, 1944. The Allies − particularly the British − had hoped that an invasion would be unnecessary, that the Allied air campaign against Germany would bring her to her knees, or that Hitler would be assassinated and a new, more flexible government formed. But nothing of the kind occurred, and the Normandy invasion went forward.


USS New York LPD 21

Although the American and British air forces had not forced the surrender of Germany, they did provide critical support by destroying a good deal of Germany’s widely dispersed industry, particularly many of her aircraft factories. They also crippled the German communications network in northern France, hit guided missile stockpiles, and contributed to blocking the English Channel to U-boats (58 of them). More than 6,400 vessels were committed to the Normandy battle, including more than 4,000 landing craft and hundreds


of transports. One hundred and four destroyers, seven battleships, and 23 cruisers provided critical naval fire support, and 12,000 aircraft, including 5,000 fighters, were employed. British and American strategic bombing was momentarily turned away from Germany to support the landing. In addition, hundreds of planes and gliders dropped or carried thousands of paratroopers behind the beaches. In all, 130,000 troops were landed on five Normandy beaches on D-Day. The defenses were far more severe than

National Archives

A massive task force carves out a beachhead at Okinawa, April 13, 1945. Landing craft and ships of all classes and sizes blacken the sea out to the horizon.

LPD 21 USS New York

any encountered in the Pacific. Nonetheless, within five days more than 325,000 Allied men were ashore, with more than 54,000 vehicles and 105,000 tons of supplies. Within a month, 1 million troops and their equipment had been landed. But the costs were severe. The Allies suffered 209,000 casualties during the battle for Normandy. Thirty-seven thousand Allied troops died, along with 16,714 airmen. The dearly bought victory at Normandy was the beginning of the end for Hitler. In support of the thrust at Normandy, an amphibious landing − code-named Dragoon − was made in southern France on Aug. 15, 1944. By Aug. 28, Marseilles and Toulon, the two immediate objectives, had surrendered. Having obtained a firm foothold in France, the Allied drive from both the west and the east inexorably crushed the Nazis. After Hitler’s suicide, Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945. In the Pacific, the two-pronged assault on the Japanese empire continued to drive relentlessly toward Tokyo. MacArthur landed his troops on Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944, beginning the liberation of the Philippines. The amphibious landing triggered the great naval Battle for Leyte Gulf – four separate engagements that established, along with the Battle of the Philippine Sea, American dominance on the water. By the middle of December, Leyte was in American hands. On Jan. 9, 1945, MacArthur began the fight for Luzon, and Manila was finally cleared of Japanese defenders on March 4, 1945. In the meantime, beginning on Nov. 24, 1944, B-29 Superfortresses began the bombing of Japan from the Marianas. This led to the amphibious attack on Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945. A grueling, bloody fight ensued. By the time the island was captured on March 16, more than 22,000 Japanese had been killed − nearly their entire force − while the Americans suffered a heartrending 6,812 killed and 21,837 wounded. Nimitz next attacked Okinawa in the Ryukus. Amphibious landings began on April 1, 1945. Kamikazes, which had been in use by the increasingly desperate Japanese since Leyte, were now fully employed. Almost 300 suicide attacks occurred, with devastating results for U.S. ships. The battle on the island was expected to be bloody, and it was. In the end, nearly 5,000 sailors were killed, and 4,800 wounded, while 7,613 American soldiers and Marines died and 31,800 were wounded. The United States was, at that point, poised to invade Japan’s home islands. The largest expeditionary force ever contemplated was in the offing, and based on past experience, millions on both sides were sure to die. To avoid this slaughter, President Harry S Truman decided to drop two atom bombs – one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki – forcing Japan to surrender on Aug. 15, 1945. The greatest catastrophe in human history thus ended. Fifty million had died, and tens of millions more endured unimaginable suffering. The disaster was made more awful by the knowledge that it was preventable. The resentments and ambitions of the Axis powers could have been contained had not the folly of disarmament obtained such a hold on the American mind after World War I. Since 1945, the United States, having learned the lessons of the war, remained, at great cost, prepared militarily, and although, tragically, there have been small conflicts, there has not been another all-embracing war. Instead, the world has enjoyed what might be called Pax Americana, under which there has been a general peace, making possible an era of unprecedented growth and prosperity for all people.


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The Legacy of the Ships New York By James Nelson It was sometime in September of 1776 when the first armed vessel of the United States to carry the name New York slid into the lower reaches of Lake Champlain. She was an odd looking thing, about 50 feet long and 15 feet on the beam, drawing around 5 feet from the waterline to her flat bottom. Though she had a mast that carried a square mainsail and a square topsail, she was essentially an oversized rowboat. She was known in the local vernacular as a gundalow, or gondola. This New York was not, strictly speaking, a part of the Continental Navy. That branch of the service had been established by the Continental Congress in October 1775. Five months before the gondola New York slid into fresh water, the Continental Navy and Marine Corps had staged their first amphibious landing on the island of New Providence (now known as Nassau in the Bahamas). But there was no official naval presence on Champlain. The defense of the lake was an Army affair. The enemy, 10,000 British and German troops, were coming south, but their only way through that wilderness was over the water. Both sides understood that the issue would be decided not between armies but between fighting ships. But first, those ships would have to be built. The British could call on the expertise of their naval personnel stationed in the St. Lawrence to build a fleet to contest the lake. The Americans, building their own fleet, had no such resource. That, to some extent, explains the New York’s appearance. The one boat that the people on the frontiers knew how to build was the bateaux, the flat-sided, flat-bottomed, ubiquitous transport used on northern waters. New York was, in essence, an oversized bateaux, with a 12-pounder cannon over her bow, and two 9-pounders on each side.

Around the time that New York’s keel was laid, Gen. Horatio Gates, the commanding officer at Fort Ticonderoga, put in command of the little fleet his most experienced sea-going officer, Gen. Benedict Arnold. Arnold, a former merchant captain, lit a fire under the boatbuilders, greatly speeding production, eager to beat the British in their wilderness arms race. On Oct. 11, 1776, New York took her place in the line of battle, ready to stop the British movement down Lake Champlain. Arnold, in a brilliant tactical move, formed his fleet up in a half-moon line tucked in behind Valcour Island. The enemy, he knew, would have to sail past the island, and then try to claw their way upwind to attack, which the larger, better armed ships would not be able to do. It worked just as Arnold had hoped. By noon the enemy’s smaller, oar-driven gunboats had come up and engaged the Americans, while the larger vessels were unable to sail against the adverse wind. For 5 hours, the New York and her consorts delivered a brutal pounding to the British fleet, and received as much or worse in return.

U.S. Naval Historical Center photograph

The modernized USS New York (BB 34), leads USS Nevada (BB 36) and USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during maneuvers in 1932.


LPD 21 USS New York

New York took more than her share of punishment. By late afternoon all of her officers save her captain were dead. Her aging bow gun exploded, sending shards of iron through her crew, wounding one man and killing another. By the time darkness put an end to the battle, New York and her companions were battered, their crews decimated, their guns all but out of ammunition. Rather than wait for destruction to come with the morning sun, Arnold led his fleet under the cover of darkness and fog right through the British lines, a move that impressed even the enemy, and away south toward Ticonderoga. A two-day running battle followed, in which nearly all of Arnold’s fleet were taken or destroyed by their own crews. New York, alone among the gondolas, managed to reach Fort Ticonderoga. There was nothing left to oppose the British advance, but the campaigning season was too far advanced for them to continue, so they withdrew to Canada for the winter. The following year, Gen. John Burgoyne led the British troops in another push for Albany. This time, the British naval force was so overwhelming that the Americans could offer no resistance, and they did not even try. New York and the other ships left from Arnold’s brave little fleet were burned at Skenesborough (now Whitehall, N.Y.) where they had been built. The only battle that the first New York fought was, in the short term, a defeat for the Americans. But in the long term it was anything but. The year’s delay that Arnold had won for the Americans, at the cost of his fleet’s destruction, allowed the American army to rebuild to the point where it could actually defeat Burgoyne at Saratoga the following year. The little New

York and her consorts were the first link in a chain of events that would ultimately lead to American victory in the War for Independence. It would be another 27 years before a vessel named USS New York fired a gun in anger. The second New York was a considerably more impressive vessel than the first, a 36-gun frigate built in her namesake city and launched on April 24, 1800. Lofty, fast, and well-armed with 9- and 18-pounder guns, USS New York was part of the second wave of naval shipbuilding that had begun in 1794 with the construction of USS Constitution and the other five frigates that comprised the early Navy. Those first ships had been built to counter the menace that Algerian pirates presented to American shipping in the Mediterranean, but by the time New York was commissioned, the Navy had bigger fish to fry. By the mid-1790s, France was in the early days of its bloody revolution, and the new French government viewed the United States’ new treaty with England, the Jay Treaty, to be in violation of Revolutionary War agreements signed between the two


LPD 21 USS New York

Library of Congress

A period illustration of the armored cruiser USS New York (ACR 2).

governments. French privateers began to scoop up American merchantmen that were trading with the British, and the Quasi-War with France was under way. New York sailed for the Caribbean in October of 1800, where she convoyed American merchantmen and patrolled the waters for French warships and privateers. But by the time New York was on station, the Quasi-War was winding down. By May of the following year, the United States had managed an uneasy peace with both Britain and France, and the frigate was laid up in ordinary at the Washington Navy Yard. Even though England and France were no longer causing problems for the United States, the nations of North Africa, the Barbary States, could always be counted on to stir up trouble. Around the time that the frigate New York was laid up, the rulers of Tunis, Tripoli, and Algiers were upping their demands for tribute, which the United States had been paying for nearly a decade. With the U.S. Navy now free from having to protect American shipping from the French, it was decided that the Barbary States had received enough payment in specie, and payment of another kind would be in order. New York was recommissioned in 1802, and under the command of James

Barron sailed for the Mediterranean, where she became the flagship of Commodore Richard Morris. Morris made the best of his little squadron, escorting American shipping and showing the flag off the Barbary coast. New York twice engaged Tripolitan gunboats that swarmed out of harbors of North Africa, hoping to overwhelm the superior American ships with sheer numbers of boats and men. The pirates were, however, driven off by the devastating fire from the frigate’s broadsides. New York was sent to Malta to replenish her stores. There she received a 17-gun salute from the British fleet under the command of Vice Adm. Horatio Nelson. Soon after, Morris was relieved of command of the squadron by Edward Preble, whom the Jefferson administration hoped would be more aggressive in his dealings with the Barbary pirates. New York returned to the Washington Navy Yard, where she was again laid up in ordinary. The lovely, graceful frigate had the bad luck to still be there 11 years later when the British captured the Navy yard during the War of 1812 and burned her to the waterline. The next USS New York met a similar fate, though before she was able to accomplish much, in fact,


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before she was even launched or commissioned. Originally intended as a 74-gun ship-of-the-line, she was laid down in 1820 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia. By 1825 she was ready to launch, but nonetheless remained on the stocks for an incredible 36 years as the world of men-of-war shifted from sail to steam. Finally, on the night of April 21, 1861, she was burned where she sat by the panicked Union defenders of the shipyard, who were certain that they were about to be overrun by secessionist forces. Also going up in that conflagration was the Union sail and steam ship USS Merrimack, which would be reborn as the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia. Seventy years separated the laying of the 74 gun New York’s keel and the building of the next ship to bear that name, but in that time the science of naval warfare had undergone a transformation unmatched in the entire history of seafaring. The fourth New York (including a screw sloop that had been renamed New York in 1869), was designated ACR 2. It was a 384-foot armored cruiser, a thoroughly modern ship of war that incorporated the latest thinking in armor plating, heavy guns, and long cruising range. During the years of peace from her launching in 1891 to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, USS New York sailed with the South Atlantic, the North Atlantic, and the European Squadrons. At the outbreak of the war she steamed out of Hampton Roads, Va., bound for Cuba, where she participated in the bombardment of Matanzas and San Juan while the fleet searched for the Spanish naval forces under the command of Adm. Pascual Cervera y Topete. New York was made the flagship of Adm. William Sampson’s fleet, which soon had the Spanish fleet bottled up in Santiago. New York had actually left the blockading fleet, carrying Sampson to a meeting with army commander Maj. Gen. William Shafter, when the Spanish fleet finally emerged. Sampson raced back to the fight, arriving in time to command the last stages of the battle, which resulted in the destruction of the Spanish squadron. “The fleet under my command,” Sampson wrote to the Navy department, “offers the nation as a Fourth of July present the whole of Cervera’s fleet.” Over the decade following the Spanish-American War, the armored cruiser New York served as flagship to the Asiatic Fleet, calling at Japan, China, Russia, and the Philippines. She transferred to the Pacific Squadron where she again served as flagship before she was decommissioned in 1905 for modernization. In 1909, New York was recommissioned and rejoined the Asiatic Fleet. Two years later, still in the Far East, her name was changed to Saratoga. At the beginning of World War I, her name was again changed, this time to Rochester. She spent the war primarily escorting convoys across the Atlantic, and after the armistice served as a transport bringing troops home. In the years between the wars, the former New York was stationed in Central and South America, before once again, and for the last time, steaming to the Far East. In 1933 she was decommissioned in Shanghai and then moved to the Philippines, where she remained at her mooring until she was scuttled in December 1941, to prevent her being captured by the Japanese. Like her predecessor at Norfolk, the armored cruiser New York was destroyed to keep her out of enemy hands. Unlike the wooden ship-of-the-line, she saw much honorable service before she was lost.


The 19th century armored cruiser New York was sailing under the name Saratoga when the fifth New York (whose keel was laid on 9/11/1911) was launched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, N.Y. Designated BB 34, the latest USS New York was 200 feet longer than ACR 2 and displaced four times the tonnage. New York slid into the East River on Oct. 30, 1912, and soon after was flagship of Rear Adm. Frank F. Fletcher’s squadron, blockading Vera Cruz during the crisis with Mexico in 1914. In 1917, New York steamed for Europe to take part in the naval action of World War I. At Scapa Flow she joined the American Squadron in the Grand Fleet, a naval presence so powerful that the Germans did not even attempt a major naval engagement. New York ended the war as part of the fleet that escorted President Woodrow Wilson to the Versailles Conference. From the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II, New York was primarily part of the Pacific Fleet, serving also as a training vessel for midshipmen at the Naval Academy. With America’s entry into World War II, the battleship became part of the North Atlantic convoys, fending off German U-boats and bringing merchant vessels safely into port. In 1942, New York was stationed off the coast of Africa, providing gunfire support for the Allied invading forces. She then escorted convoys from the United States to Africa in support of the invasion. She continued in that mission until 1944, and after another brief turn as a training ship, she steamed for the West Coast to prepare for amphibious operations in the Pacific Theater. New York was getting on in years by the time she was called upon to help drive the Japanese out of the Pacific Islands, but she was nonetheless at the vanguard of that offensive, joining the pre-invasion bombardment of Iwo Jima. The aging battleship took her place in the most prolonged bombardment of the war, firing more rounds than any other vessel, and scoring a direct hit on an enemy ammunition dump with her 14-inch shells. After repairs to her propellers she joined in the attack on Okinawa, arriving in time to participate in the five days of shelling that preceded the landing on the island. For 76 consecutive days, New York was in the thick of the action, covering landings, shelling enemy positions and providing close support for troops on shore. A kamikaze swept down on her, but she proved to be a lucky ship. The enemy plane only grazed her, taking out her spotter plane as it sat on the catapult. Shortly before the hard-won capitulation of Okinawa was secured, New York was under way for Pearl Harbor. There she began preparations for the coming invasion of Japan, a final battle that was made unnecessary by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. New York’s fighting career was ended by the atomic bomb, and the ship herself nearly was as well. After serving as a transport, she was selected to take the part of a target ship for the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, a project known as Operation Crossroads. On July 1, 1946, New York endured and survived a surface blast of an atomic bomb, and later that month lived through an underwater explosion as well. She was later towed to Pearl Harbor, where she was studied for the next two years. Finally, in the summer of 1948, the 35- year-old ship, veteran of both world wars, winner of three battle stars during World War II, was towed out to sea 40

LPD 21 USS New York

DoD photo courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat

An aerial port bow view of the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS New York City (SSN 696) under way. While not named for the state, the New York City preserved the tradition of service to the nation.

miles from shore to again serve as a target. For eight hours she was pounded by sea and air attacks before finally slipping beneath the waves. Then in 1979, the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS New York City was commissioned. Although not carrying exactly the same name as the U.S. ships named New York that preceded her, New York City faithfully preserved the

tradition of service to the nation during a major portion of the Cold War. From the American Revolution through World War II, wherever American naval power was most needed, a ship with the name New York was under way, sailing or steaming to the sound of the guns. It is a proud tradition. It is a tradition that will carry on.


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The History of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Relationship And its Impact on Amphibious Warfare By Col. Gary J. Ohls, USMC (Ret.)

For many Americans, the concept of amphibious warfare derives from the World War II model where landing forces assaulted foreign shores against determined resistance. These actions resulted in very high casualties, yet proved uniformly successful in achieving American military objectives. They involved isolating and preparing the amphibious objective area with naval and air power, then aggressively introducing landing forces to assault defended positions. Naval task forces not only inserted amphibious troops, but also sustained them with naval gunfire, tactical aircraft, and logistical support once ashore. The circumstance of geography coupled with the weapons and equipment available at that time dictated this type of warfare. To ensure incremental progress in the war effort, military and naval forces of the United States needed to attack Pacific islands held by Japanese forces and conduct forced entry on the European continent against beaches defended by the German army. Weapons such as attack aircraft and precision naval gunfire coupled with newly designed amphibious ships, landing craft, and tracked vehicles made these attacks possible. 132

During the 18th and 19th centuries, no such equipment or weapons existed for assaulting defended beaches. Commanders attempted to land their forces in areas where resistance would be light or nonexistent. Even the two most sophisticated landings of the 19th century – the assault on Veracruz during the Mexican-American War and the attack at Fort Fisher, N.C., during the Civil War – did not require assault forces to fight their way ashore. The advantage of the initiative coupled with the inherent mobility of sea forces usually permitted the naval echelon to deliver forces at the point of attack faster than land-based defenders could react. On occasions where landing forces experienced opposition on the beach, it usually consisted of light resistance used only to delay and harass. During the second half of the 20th century, amphibious thinking from World War II began to change. Although retaining the ability to conduct forced entry against defended beaches, American commanders no longer expected to conduct such operations. With the advent of larger and more agile amphibious ships, advanced assault landing craft, and innovative helicopter technology, options for amphibious attack developed well beyond the frontal assault mode. Harkening back to amphibious warfare of earlier America, new doctrine

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

“New Providence Raid,” by V. Zveg, depicts Continental sailors and Marines landing on New Providence Island, Bahamas, on March 3, 1776. Their initial objective, Fort Montagu, is in the left distance. Close off shore are the small vessels used to transport the landing force to the vicinity of the beach. They are (from left to right): two captured sloops, the schooner Wasp and the sloop Providence. The other ships of the American squadron are visible in the distance. The operation was commanded by Commodore Esek Hopkins, and the Marines by Capt. Samuel Nicholas. The New Providence raid was the most successful American amphibious operation of the Revolutionary War, and proved the logic of using Marines in landing operations. As such, it was the beginning of the Navy and Marine Corps’ amphibious warfare team.

called for unopposed insertions at landing sites where enemy forces could not concentrate. In a manner of speaking, modern technology and innovation permitted amphibious warfare to progress forward into the past. Whereas the amphibious navy of the 21st century has modernized its weapons, equipment, and doctrine, its fundamental role in landing operations has not changed appreciably from the days of early America. It still must deliver ground forces ashore, provide supporting fires, sustain the operation, and withdraw for future actions. In accomplishing this mission, the benchmark for success has been the strength and quality of the relationship between naval and landing force commanders. In the modern era, this equates to Navy and Marine Corps leaders because that unique team has become America’s preeminent amphibious and expeditionary force.

The sui generis relationship between the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began during the Revolutionary War when Congress established the Continental Navy on Oct. 13, 1775, and the Continental Marine Corps on Nov. 10, 1775. The following year, as America’s commander in chief, Gen. George Washington, remained preoccupied with British strategy and operations in the American Northeast, the new Navy and Marine Corps team – under Commodore Esek Hopkins and Marine Capt. Samuel Nicholas – conducted a successful amphibious raid on the Bahamian island of New Providence. The amphibious force captured two forts, the town of Nassau, and carried off large quantities of ordnance and military stores – all vital to the American war effort. The New Providence operation constituted the most successful American amphibious action of the Revolution and


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one of its most important naval victories. In addition to the stores of ordnance, Hopkins brought back three captured ships, along with Gov. Montford Browne and two other British officials as prisoners of war. This later proved helpful to Washington, who exchanged Browne for generals John Sullivan and William Alexander (Lord Stirling), captured during the battle for New York. Not all Navy and Marine Corps operations of the Revolution proved so successful, nor were all landings limited to the sea services. Many large-scale attacks involved Army forces with Marines participating only as their shipboard duties allowed. But the logic of using Marines in landing operations proved irresistible, and the professional relationship forged by Hopkins and Nicholas initiated a tradition that grew – through a process of both cooperation and conflict – into an important American institution. At the end of the American Revolution, the United States found itself in a state of near exhaustion. Needing to economize on expenses and having a weak central government under the Articles of Confederation, American leaders effectively disbanded the active services, auctioning off the last vessel of the Continental Navy in August 1785. Although the new republic possessed no naval service between 1785 and 1794, pressure mounted throughout that period to create a credible capability.


The capture of American seamen by Algerian and Moroccan pirates as early as 1784 drove pro-defense advocates to demand creation of a maritime service able to protect the American merchant fleet. During March 1794, Congress passed an act that authorized President Washington to either buy or construct six frigates and provide for their crews. Ostensibly intended to protect American commerce from state-sponsored piracy along the North African coast, the Navy Act of 1794 marked the first important step toward creating a professional navy. Subsequent treaties with Algiers and Tripoli stemmed the immediate crisis, but advocates of naval power proved strong enough to retain at least some semblance of a navy thereafter. Within the next 25 years, the United States found itself involved in no fewer than four wars. These included the Quasi War with France, fought mostly at sea in the West Indies between 1798 and 1801; the Barbary War against Tripoli in the Mediterranean during 1801-1805; the War of 1812 (often called the second war for independence) conducted from 1812 to 1815; and a brief naval conflict with Algiers in 1815. All except the War of 1812 were primarily naval conflicts, and that war contained essential naval and amphibious elements. The most interesting amphibious incident of the Quasi War occurred in May 1800 at the Spanish port of Puerto Plata,

Collection of the National Museum of the Marine Corps

From the very beginning, the Navy and Marine Corps were a team. One of the primary missions of early Marines aboard U.S. Navy ships was delivering accurate fire against personnel of an enemy ship, as these Marines in the rigging of USS Wasp are doing in the painting “USS Wasp vs. HMS Reindeer,” by Staff Sgt. John F. Clymer, 1945.

Images courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps History Division

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Left: Maj. Samuel Nicholas. As a captain, Nicholas led the Continental Marines in the young nation’s first amphibious raid. Right: Lt. Presley O’Bannon, with seven other Marines, a U.S. Navy midshipman, and a mercenary army, took the fortress at Derna and raised the American flag for the first time over foreign soil.

Santo Domingo, where French authorities held a captured British ship named Sandwich. Capt. Silas Talbot of the frigate USS Constitution learned of its presence in the Spanish port and sought an opportunity to capture the prize. Talbot placed about 90 Marines and sailors under command of Navy Lt. Isaac Hull and Marine Capt. David Carmick into an innocuous looking sloop named Sally. Once alongside Sandwich, the sailors quickly captured the vessel while Marines assaulted the protective forts and spiked their guns. The amphibious raid on Puerto Plata proved a model of cooperation, speed, efficiency, and effectiveness – even though of dubious legality. A second amphibious raid of the Quasi War occurred in September 1800 on the Dutch island of Curaçao. When local authorities refused to assist the French frigate Vengeance – severely damaged in battle with the American frigate USS Constellation – they evoked the ire of French officials who invaded the island, driving its inhabitants into a single fort and intimating hostile intentions toward expatriate Americans. The United States Navy responded by sending the sloops of war USS Merrimack and USS Patapsco into the area and landing a force of Marines led by Lt. James Middleton. The American naval and amphibious action forced the French to withdraw, leaving the island in allied hands. These amphibious actions, like the naval service in general, proved an effective (if limited) tool of U.S. policy during the Quasi War. The Barbary War of 1801-1805 began primarily because the Bashaw of Tripoli, Yusuf Karamanli, resented the larger

American tribute paid to Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco for safe passage within the Mediterranean Sea. Despite treaties negotiated during the 1790s, unstable relations between the United States and Barbary rulers remained the norm. During the initial phases of the war with Tripoli, American leaders attempted to bring Yusuf to heel through a naval blockade and offshore bombardment. When this approach proved ineffective, the idea of regime change gained credibility among American leaders. This concept sprang from an ongoing effort by Hamet Karamanli – Yusuf’s older brother, who believed himself the rightful ruler – to regain control of Tripoli. Hoping to exploit the conflict between America and Tripoli, Hamet guaranteed lasting peace if the United States helped restore him to power. Commodore Edward Preble, the American commander in the Mediterranean, believed supporting Hamet offered a prospect for success and that restoring him to power would bring substantial benefits to the United States throughout the Barbary Coast. Commodore Samuel Barron arrived in the Mediterranean during September 1804, commanding the largest naval force the United States had ever assembled up to that time. In addition to a powerful naval squadron, Barron carried instructions from the president of the United States directing, in the strongest terms yet, aggressive and determined action against Tripoli and other Barbary powers if necessary. In addition, he brought William Eaton, who held a commission from the Secretary of the Navy as the U.S. naval agent to the Barbary Regencies, subject only to the


LPD 21 USS New York

Library of Congress

A depiction of the landing of the American forces under Gen. Winfield Scott at Veracruz, March 9, 1847. The cooperation between U.S. Navy Commodore David Conner and Scott represented a future model for the Navy and Marine Corps team.

orders of Barron. Eaton was determined to install Hamet as Bashaw of Tripoli, and believed the first step involved capturing the city of Derna in the eastern part of the principality. Attacking Derna would open a second military front, thereby increasing political, economic, and diplomatic pressure on the Bashaw in the view of American commanders on the scene. To undertake the Derna operation, Eaton first needed to find Hamet, last known to be in Alexandria, Egypt. Barron assigned Master Commandant Isaac Hull – who had previously worked with Marines in the capture of Sandwich at Puerto Plata – and the brig Argus (later Hull added Hornet and Nautilus), to support Eaton’s effort to locate Hamet and conduct operations against Derna. Marine Lt. Presley O’Bannon became the third key officer of this dynamic team that exemplified, in every way, the concepts of cooperation and mutual support. Arriving in Alexandria in November 1804, Eaton located Hamet – who had allied himself with a Mameluke faction – and made final plans for joint and combined action with Hull, O’Bannon, and Hamet’s supporters. The American commanders envisaged an at-

tack on Derna from both land and sea, and then driving westward along the coastline to capture Benghazi and the capital city of Tripoli. The expedition’s strength would reach about 500 to 600 men including O’Bannon’s detachment of seven U.S. Marines. While Hull prepared his ships for the assault, Eaton and O’Bannon undertook one of the most heroic and arduous marches in military history across a hostile desert with limited provisions and mutinous comrades. After arriving outside Derna, Hull began a powerful bombardment of the city and its forts, destroying several batteries and eventually driving some of the Tripolitans from their guns and defenses. The Marines then attacked along the beach at water’s edge with Hull’s naval guns clearing the way. Concurrently, Hamet and his mounted Arabs circled south and west of the city, attacking from the opposite direction. Eaton and O’Bannon led a direct assault that carried the hostile ramparts and part of the city. O’Bannon then turned the defender’s guns on the fleeing enemy just as Hamet’s Arabs attacked from landside, resulting in complete victory and possession of both fort

and city. Just before turning the fort’s guns on the fleeing enemy, O’Bannon had removed the enemy standard from its staff and planted the American flag for the first time on a hostile foreign shore. The United States Marines had gone “to the shores of Tripoli.” The loss of Derna, coupled with the bombardment and blockade of Tripoli, caused the Bashaw to seek peace through the offices of the Spanish consul in Tripoli. Tobias Lear – the U.S. consul general to Algiers – negotiated a favorable treaty in 1805, which did not include the traditional tribute or customary presents to the Bashaw. American success in the Tripolitan War had many components, of which the capture of Derna was only one. Yet that action constituted the key ingredient, and succeeded despite its complexity and many potential failure points. In the final analysis, Derna was captured because of the active, assertive, and cooperative leadership of the three principal commanders: Eaton, Hull, and O’Bannon. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, there followed numerous expeditionary operations in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Pacific Basin.


USS New York LPD 21

The subjugation of California during the 1846-1847 MexicanAmerican War resulted primarily from a series of amphibious landings along the Pacific coastline spearheaded by the Navy and Marine Corps team, often in conjunction with Army units ashore or afloat. Of course, the landing at Veracruz during 1847 ultimately resulted in the capture of Mexico City and the subsequent treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Veracruz operation primarily involved Army and Navy elements with Marines serving in a more subsidiary role, though many served all the way to the Halls of Montezuma. The cooperation between Commodore David Conner and Gen. Winfield Scott in capturing the key costal city of Veracruz proved exemplary and provided an excellent future model for the Navy and Marine Corps team. Over time, the role of the Marine Corps evolved from a small ancillary organization into the major military force that exists today. An important reason for that expansion involved the leadership of key officers in the 1920s and 1930s. During that era, senior military officers throughout the world believed amphibious warfare had no place in serious military planning, due to the disastrous 1915 Gallipoli campaign of World War I. But a small group of Marine and Navy officers thought otherwise, and worked to develop the theory, concepts, doctrine, and equipment that proved so critical to the amphibious successes of World War II. This intellectual undertaking, coupled with


operational achievement in actual warfighting, established the Marine Corps as the lead service for amphibious warfare within the American military establishment, and created the basis for its elevation among the military services. Although disagreement and discord often exists between Navy and Marine Corps leaders on important issues including equipment design, tactical and operational employment of forces, and command relationships, it is typically the productive type that results in better policy, doctrine, plans, and operations through the interchange and vetting of ideas and concepts. Ultimately, this process contributes to improved war preparation and success in combat. The most notable example of this at work is the World War II relationship between two giants of that era, Richmond Kelly Turner and Holland M. Smith. As a rear admiral during the Central Pacific Campaign of 1943-1945, Turner commanded the navy’s amphibious force while Smith, holding the rank of major general and later lieutenant general, commanded the Marines. Both men were highly intelligent, strong willed, and totally dedicated to the honor and success of their service. They often clashed and some of their confrontations became legendary throughout the Pacific. Yet both valued the role of the other’s branch and their disagreements always focused on how to best accomplish the mission. They often compromised, but only after all possible options received

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal (second from left), confers with Vice Adm. Richmond Kelly Turner (left), Lt. Gen. Holland M. Smith, and Rear Adm. H. W. Hill (right). The relationship between Turner and Smith was sometimes stormy, but they worked together to develop outstanding operational plans, and fought and won their way across the Pacific together during World War II.

LPD 21 USS New York

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary L. Borden

U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263, Marine Aircraft Group 29, prepare for flight on the deck of the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). Wasp was on surge deployment to the Middle East. Today’s Amphibious Ready Groups are the inheritors of traditions crafted over more than 200 years of Navy and Marine Corps history.

due consideration under the strongest possible sponsorship. As Smith characterized their relationship after the war, “Kelly Turner and I were to be teammates in all my operations. He commanded Fifth Amphibious Force while I commanded the expeditionary troops that went along with the Navy and our partnership, though stormy, spelled hell in big red letters to the Japanese.” Technically, the Navy and Marine Corps team constitutes a joint force, and its expeditionary incursions qualify as joint operations. Yet in reality, the Navy and Marine Corps team constitutes something much better than a joint organization. The two services have roots in a close and integrated tradition built over two centuries of operating together, making them two integral elements of a single naval force. This goes far beyond simply working together in planning and operations. It includes such key elements as combined staffs, common doctrine, frequent exercises and operations, and a sense of shared experiences, all of which

contribute to a common institutional culture in the field of amphibious and expeditionary warfare. The fact that both services reside within the Department of the Navy is also important, but does not adequately explain the symbiotic nature of their relationship. That is more correctly found in the history and traditions of the two branches. During the 1990s, as America’s sea services sought new roles and missions for the post-Cold War era, they issued a series of strategic and operational concept papers most typified by the document entitled “…From the Sea.” This missive attempted to redirect the Navy away from the blue water strategy of the 1980s toward a more littoral approach focused on peace operations, humanitarian actions, and power projection in support of U.S. overseas objectives. The concepts embodied in “…From the Sea” emphasize the importance of unobtrusive forward presence and the flexibility of sea-based expeditionary forces. It brought the Navy closer to the Marine Corps in terms of roles and mis-

sions and seemed to offer a new and different approach in the use of naval forces within the “New World Order.” The resulting expeditionary mindset created an environment exemplified by high operational tempos for America’s Amphibious Ready Groups. Although raised to a new level of prominence in “…From the Sea,” Amphibious Ready Groups have been around for a very long time and are the true inheritor of traditions crafted at New Providence in 1776, Derna, Tripoli, in 1805, the Central Pacific in the 1940s, and numerous climes and places in the over 200 years of American history. As Lt. Cmdr. Terry O’Brien stated in his 1993 Marine Corps Command and Staff College thesis paper, “‘…From the Sea’ has not discovered a new form of warfare – it has rediscovered the capabilities of the Navy/ Marine Corps team.” In an era heavily influenced by the “jointness” mentality spawned by the 1986 Goldwater-Nicholas Act, it would be hard to find a better model than the Navy and Marine Corps amphibious team.



U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Danals

The Navy and New York City By Richard H. Wagner To those who don’t know its history well, New York City may not appear to be a Navy town. However, the connection between the U.S. Navy and New York goes back to the dawn of the country. In fact, New York Harbor was a site of major military action during the American Revolution, and the relationship has continued to the present.

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) passes by the Statue of Liberty as it steams up the Hudson River during the Parade of Ships for Fleet Week New York 2008. More than 4,000 sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen would participate in various community relations projects and make a port call to New York City.


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U.S. Naval Historical Center

LPD 21 USS New York

Above: David Bushnell’s Turtle. Sgt. Ezra Lee attacked the Royal Navy’s HMS Eagle unsuccessfully in New York Harbor with the submarine. Right: Commodore Stephen Decatur’s unsuccessful sortie in command of USS President also originated in New York Harbor.

The first naval engagement in New York was not a battle between warships but rather a joint operation where sailors transported soldiers. George Washington knew that, after being forced to evacuate Boston in March 1776, the British would probably attack New York next, because New York City was America’s most important port, and if the British could capture the Hudson River, it would split the colonies in two. As Washington anticipated, on June 28, 1776, Gen. William Howe landed an army on Staten Island, and during July, the Royal Navy under Howe’s brother, Adm. Lord Richard Howe, brought more troops and more ships. An eyewitness wrote: “The whole bay was full of shipping as it could be. I thought all London afloat.” Because then-New York City and the immediately surrounding area was ringed by water, the British could strike where they wished. Washington’s 20,000 men were positioned along a line running from Flatbush in Brooklyn, across the East River, to the southern tip of Manhattan and then up to Washington Heights in northern Manhattan. Washington’s artillery at the tip of Manhattan made an attack on the American center a poor option, and also precluded the British sailing up the Hudson and attacking Washington’s right flank. However, if the British could take Brooklyn Heights – the highest point in the area – Washington’s position would be untenable.

Realizing the importance of the Heights, Washington deployed the majority of his army to Brooklyn. But on Aug. 22, using nearly 90 frigates, the British moved 20,000 men from Staten Island to Brooklyn. Over the next few days, the British inflicted heavy casualties, and the Americans retreated to their fortifications on Brooklyn Heights. Because of the casualties they had sustained attacking fortified positions during the Battle of Bunker Hill, the British decided not to assault Brooklyn Heights immediately. After all, Washington had his back to the East River and the Royal Navy controlled the waters. To the British, Washington’s position was unsustainable. While Washington did not have any ships to challenge the Royal Navy, he did have sailors. A regiment of seamen from Marblehead, Mass., had come down to fight in New York. Washington directed the Marbleheaders to secure some small boats


LPD 21 USS New York

National Archives

The Monitor after her fight with the Merrimack. Near the gunport can be seen the dents made by the heavy steel-pointed shot from the guns of the Merrimack. Monitor’s hull was forged at nine locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

and ferry the Continental Army across the East River during the night of Aug. 29-30. Everything had to be done in complete silence to avoid alerting the encircling British Army or the Royal Navy. Accordingly, the sailors tied their shirts around the oars to muffle the sound. In the morning, a thick fog covered the final stages of the evacuation. Washington was in the last boat across. The significance of what these sailors did cannot be overstated. If the Continental Army had been forced to surrender in Brooklyn, the rebellion would have been only a footnote in British history textbooks. Within a few days of the evacuation the Americans struck back against the British fleet in New York Harbor with the first attack by an American submarine on an enemy warship. During the Boston campaign, Washington was approached by a young Yale graduate named David Bushnell, who had the preposterous idea of attacking the British fleet from underwater. “Although I wanted faith myself,” Washington wrote, “I furnished him with money

and other aids to carry it into execution.” Bushnell called his craft “The Turtle” because it looked like two turtle shells glued together. Since she was only 7 feet high and 4 feet in diameter, there was only room for one man inside. By moving handles inside the craft, the driver operated two screw-like oars. One moved Turtle forward and backward, while the other helped the craft to ascend and descend. Diving and surfacing were also facilitated by foot-operated valves that allowed water to be pumped in and out of tanks in the hull. Normally, Turtle traveled along with a snorkel extending 6 inches above the surface, but she also had the ability to dive deeper for short periods. Turtle’s armament consisted of a 50-pound keg of gunpowder with a timedelayed flintlock detonator. After diving under an enemy ship, the sub’s driver would drill a hole in the enemy hull and attach the bomb with a chain. Then Turtle would pull away before the bomb exploded. On Sept. 6, 1776, Turtle was ready to challenge the British fleet in New York

Harbor. With Sgt. Ezra Lee at the controls, Turtle attacked HMS Eagle, Lord Howe’s 64-gun flagship, not far from Liberty Island. Lee dove under Eagle, but his drill could not penetrate the British ship’s hull, either because of the copper sheathing used to protect the wood against marine growth or because of the hull’s curvature. With his air supply running out, Lee gave up and surfaced. When a patrol boat spotted her, the sentries fired muskets as their boat rowed after the strange craft. Lee released Turtle’s bomb, which exploded near the mouth of the East River. The ensuing geyser so startled the British that they did not pursue Turtle any farther. Bushnell “labored for some time ineffectively and though advocates for his scheme continued sanguine, he never did succeed,” Washington recalled. However, he continued, “I then thought and still think that it was an effort of genius.” The War of 1812 also created connections between the U.S. Navy and New York. By December 1814, the war was a stalemate. The Royal Navy, the largest navy in the world, blockaded America’s ports, crippling the American economy. What remained of the small United States Navy was bottled up in ports along the East Coast. In New York Harbor, Commodore Stephen Decatur waited for a chance to break out. Decatur’s bold exploits during the Barbary Coast war had won him international fame, and his victory over HMS Macedonian while commanding USS United States had been one of the bright spots for America in the war. Decatur’s current ship, USS President, had been built in New York Harbor in 1800, and was a technological marvel. She was bigger and more powerful than any British frigate and faster than the British ships of the line. On the open ocean, she could outrun anything that could sink her and sink anything that could catch her.


LPD 21 USS New York

National Archives

New Yorker John P. Holland’s USS Holland. Holland was the world’s first fully operational submarine and was built in Elizabeth, N.J.

Decatur’s orders were to take President to the Indian Ocean to attack the commerce between Britain and her Asian colonies, in order to force the Royal Navy to deploy ships away from America. The only obstacle was a powerful British flotilla, which included a modified ship of the line, blockading just outside New York Harbor. When an early winter storm blew the British flotilla out to sea, Decatur seized the opportunity and brought President out into the outer bay, but the ship ran aground off Sandy Hook. The crew lightened President, but the waves merely lifted her and then smashed her keel down against the hard sand. Finally, after hours of toil, the badly damaged President was free, but the gale was blowing her away from New York Harbor.

Given the damage and the proximity of the enemy, Decatur could have scuttled the ship and taken the crew back to the safety of the shore. However, America did not have ships to spare, and he took President along Long Island’s coast toward New England in hope of finding a safe place for repairs. Suspecting that the Americans might use the gale to break out, Commodore John Hayes, in command of the British flotilla, scouted the surrounding waters before returning to station. As luck would have it, Hayes’ frigates spotted the crippled President and he gave chase with his squadron. It was clear that President could not outrun the pursuers, so Decatur launched a desperate plan to turn, board, and capture the lead British frigate, Endymion. However, although Deca-


USS New York LPD 21

tur succeeded in putting Endymion out of action, she kept far enough away to prevent Decatur from boarding. With two more British frigates about to come within range, Decatur had no choice but to break off. However, President was suffering not only damage caused by the grounding but also from the fight with Endymion. Decatur had taken several calculated risks: leaving New York under the cover of the storm, continuing on after the grounding, and giving battle to Endymion. He could turn again, hope to defeat the two frigates before Hayes in his modified ship of the line arrived, and then outrun the capital ship. However, that would further risk the lives of his crew with little chance of success. Rather than go down in a blaze of glory for pride’s sake, Decatur took what was, for him, undoubtedly the more difficult path, and he struck his colors. One of the more unusual connections between New York City and the Navy involves the only American capital ship lost during World War I, a ship that now lies just outside of New York Harbor, 13.5 miles south of Fire Island Inlet. USS San Diego (ACR 6) was an “armored cruiser” – a class of warship just short of being a battleship. During World War I, her primary role was Atlantic convoy duty. On July 19, 1918, she was returning to New York to pick up another convoy when a lookout spotted what appeared to be a periscope in the water. San Diego’s captain, Harley H. Christy, sent the crew to battle stations and after several shots were fired, the submarine disappeared. Nonetheless, Christy continued to zig-zag at approximately 15 knots and kept his crew at alert. Less than an hour later, an explosion sent smoke a hundred feet high, and water began pouring into San Diego’s port engine room. In an attempt to save his ship, Christy decided to try to beach San Diego on Long Island. However, the engine spaces flooded and the ship sank within 30 minutes of the explosion. After abandoning ship, her crew reportedly sang “The Star Spangled Banner” as their ship went down. Being a battleground is not New York City’s only connection to the Navy. For example, New Yorkers have built a long line of Navy ships; many were innovative and many helped shape America’s sea services. USS Monitor, the most famous Civil War warship, was a consequence of the Union’s Anaconda Plan, which sought to end the rebellion by encircling the Southern states. Vital to this strategy was a naval blockade that would prevent the Confederacy from trading with countries such as Britain and France. The Confederate States had no pre-existing navy and no realistic hope of building one. Instead, it looked to technology. Lt. J.M. Brooke, CSN, proposed to take the remains of a steam frigate that had been burnt to the waterline when the Navy abandoned its base at Norfolk, Va., and turn her into an ironclad ram. Such a ship would be impervious to round shot fired from the wooden-hulled Navy blockaders, and she would be able to sink such ships by gunfire or by ramming. Commissioned as CSS Virginia, she is more often remembered by her original name: Merrimack. When news of the Southern plan leaked out, leaders in Washington called for proposals for a ship to counter Merrimack. New Yorker John Ericsson submitted a plan for a radically different ship with no sails or elaborate rigging – just steam power. She would be made almost entirely of iron and would be only 173 feet long, with a beam of 41 feet. Rather than rows of guns along the sides, she would have a revolving turret with two 11-inch guns,


and her freeboard would be so low that the sea would wash across her decks, making her a very difficult target. To save time, Monitor’s hull was forged at nine locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and she was built in only 120 days. On March 6, 1862, she left New York and proceeded to Hampton Roads, Va., where Merrimack had just begun attacking the blockading Union ships. Two days later, the two ships met and battled for four hours until Merrimack withdrew. Although Merrimack was only damaged, she was never again able to attack the blockade fleet, and the crucial Union blockade continued. John Holland was an Irish immigrant who taught school on the New Jersey side of New York Harbor, and he was at the center of another naval technological advance associated with New York City. He had always been interested in the sea, and in his spare time Holland studied the work of ship designers, eventually developing his own design for a workable submarine. However, when he sent the design to the Navy in 1875, it was rejected. Undaunted, Holland found funding from an unusual source. The Fenian Brotherhood wanted to oust Britain from Ireland, and Holland persuaded them that with his submarine, they would be able to challenge the Royal Navy. Impressed by a 30-inch model that Holland demonstrated at Coney Island, the Fenians funded the construction of two full-size submarines. “There is scarcely anything required of a good submarine boat that this one did not do well enough, or fairly well,” Holland said of the second of these boats. She was built in Manhattan and launched in the Hudson in 1881. Holland’s design is widelyrecognized as the first modern submarine. Over time, the Fenians withdrew their support, but various other backers came and went while the Navy vacillated about whether or not it needed submarines. Meanwhile, Holland tested and improved his design in New York harbor. Finally, after Adm. George Dewey, the hero of the Battle of Manila Bay, testified before Congress in 1900 in support of Holland’s submarines, the United States made a firm commitment. Its first true submarine, USS Holland (SS 1), was built in Elizabeth, N.J., part of New York Harbor. New York Naval Shipyard, generally called the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is another important chapter in New York City’s connection with the Navy. In 1801, the federal government purchased 40 acres along the East River in Brooklyn for a shipyard, and by the time the yard was decommissioned in 1966, New Yorkers had built many famous Navy ships there, including USS Fulton (the Navy’s first steam-powered ship), USS Maine (BB 2, one of the first battleships and whose sinking led to the Spanish-American War), USS New York (BB 34, which fought in World War I and World War II), USS Arizona (BB 39, which still lies at Pearl Harbor), and USS Missouri (BB 63, where the Japanese surrender was signed), as well as the aircraft carriers Bennington (CV 20), Bon Homme Richard (CV 31), Kearsarge (CV 33), Oriskany (CV 34), Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV 42), Saratoga (CV 60) and Independence (CV 62). The last capital ship built in Brooklyn, USS Constellation (CV 64), left the U.S. fleet in 2003. In addition to building them, ships were repaired and upgraded at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. For example, Dr. Lee Forrest’s radiotelephone was tested there in 1907 and then installed throughout the Great White Fleet. The yard installed the radar that enabled the battleship Washington (BB 56) to turn back a more powerful force in a night battle in November 1942,

USS New York LPD 21

Twenty-five years ago, New York City began an annual tradition called Fleet Week, a few days that focus on those who are currently serving the United States in its sea services. During that week each year, the Navy arranges for several ships to spend some of their liberty time in “the Big Apple,” and the city turns out to express its appreciation for the visiting sailors and Marines. When all is said and done, it seems that New York City really is a Navy town.

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helping thwart the Japanese in their efforts to retake Guadalcanal. In 1952, USS Antietam (CVA 36) was modified in Brooklyn to become the Navy’s first angled deck aircraft carrier. The fact that the Navy has been shaped by people from New York is yet one more connection between New York City and the Navy. For example, Theodore Roosevelt, one of the most influential advocates for a strong U.S. Navy, was born in Manhattan in 1858. Teddy Roosevelt influenced naval strategy, and as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he fought to rebuild the Navy, which had been allowed to deteriorate following the Civil War. He also advocated new technologies, and as president he continued to strengthen the Navy and deployed the Great White Fleet to sail around the world to demonstrate that America had become a world power. Beyond famous individuals, many thousands of New Yorkers have helped shape the sea services by serving in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and 76 sailors and Marines from New York State have received the Medal of Honor. Thousands of New York civilians worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in satellite industries that supplied the Navy yard. And to these numbers must be added the thousands of families that have sacrificed to support loved ones who served directly in the nation’s sea services.


LPD 21 USS New York

A 1915 photo of USS New York (BB 34) in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where she was built. Her keel was laid on Sept. 11, 1911.


USS New York LPD 21

This flower bowl with Henry Hudson’s Half Moon as a handle was made by Tiffany & Co. and presented to the battleship USS New York (BB 34) circa 1916 by the state of New York.

Silver Wedded to Steel: A Tradition Carries on in USS New York (LPD 21) By Colin E. Babb

Master Ebbitt was writing to the Herald to donate $2 of his hard-gotten money – saved up for Christmas – to a state-wide subscription effort that was raising money for a formal presentation silver service to be given to what was at the time the U.S. Navy’s newest all-steel warship, the armored cruiser USS New York (ACR 2). This service would be a representation of the Empire State, preserved in silver, that would accompany the ship during the course of its career at sea. The cruiser, launched only days before at the Cramp Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pa., was the latest installment in a movement barely a decade old to create a “new Navy” for a United States that was just reawakening to the possibilities of modern naval power. Ebbitt, and many other New Yorkers like him, saw the creation and donation of a silver service as a way to show just how much this new Navy meant to him, and today that spirit has been carried on in the new USS New York (LPD 21). The Herald had more than a passing interest in the project to purchase a silver service for the New York; the newspaper, in fact, led the effort to raise money for the service. The paper also put its money where its mouth was by contributing $500 toward the $6,000 thought necessary to purchase a service of suitable size and quality. It was a grand gesture in an era that


appreciated and encouraged flamboyant expressions of patriotism. On the occasion of the presentation of the service to the armored cruiser New York in October 1893, New York Congressman Amos J. Cummings declared that the silver service “embodies not only the gratitude but the hopes of the people. From this time on it is an integral part of the armored cruiser in war and in peace, a mute reminder of their love and confidence.” Today, this presentation silver service, combined with that of the battleship New York (BB 34) made more than two decades later, remains a stunning reminder of Empire State craftsmanship and artistry from a bygone time. The tradition of donating silver services and other valuable keepsakes to warships is an old one, but it saw its heyday in the United States in the years 1890 to 1920, a time corresponding to a renaissance in naval shipbuilding and a national mood that was profoundly aware of the role the Navy was playing in the country’s emergence as a world power. Perhaps more than in any other era of United States history, many average Americans at the dawn of the 20th century (even 12-year-old boys) were bound to agree with President Theodore Roosevelt’s assertion that “we have deliberately made our own certain foreign policies which demand the possession of a first-class navy.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy Museum

“I am only a small boy … just twelve years old, but I read the HERALD, and I’m awfully glad that we are going to have a navy at last that amounts to something,” wrote Henry Ebbitt, a young Gothamite and reader of The New York Herald, in December 1891. “When I grow up,” wrote the precocious boy, “I want to know that I have done something to make the fellows who will do the fighting on the New York feel that they and their ship are appreciated.”

USS New York LPD 21

For the generations that funded, built, and manned the armored cruiser and battleship New York, there was no finer expression of civic pride in that Navy than the presentation of a “first-class” silver service. These essentially dining sets were eminently practical. However fancy or decorative they might have been, they were meant to be used and not just to be observed from afar. Such presentations by cities, states, or other organizations go back to the earliest days of the U.S. Navy, and mirror similar customs in other navies, such as the Royal Navy. According to the Naval Supply Systems Command, which manages presentation silver in the Navy, currently there are more than 18,500 objects associated with silver sets in storage, on display, or on ships. The earliest U.S. naval presentation silver dates from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, to the time of the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. The deeds of captains during heroic victories at sea, such as those of Isaac Hull, Stephen Decatur, and Oliver Hazard Perry, were commemorated with gifts of silver vases, urns, and tableware sets from thankful citizens in seacoast cities such as Baltimore, Md., and Philadelphia. The practice of honoring individual achievement continued to the Civil War, when Tiffany & Co. marked key moments such as Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration in 1861 with a silver pitcher presented to the president, and the battle between the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia in 1862 with a five-piece tea set given to Monitor Chief Engineer Alban C. Stimers by the ship’s designer, John Ericsson. In the 1880s, the Navy came out of a 20-year slumber when the aging wooden, sail-steam hybrid vessels held over from the days of the Civil War began to be replaced with new ships of all-steel construction with all-steam power plants, electric generators, and modern naval weaponry. By the time of the launching of the armored cruiser New York in 1891, the U.S. Navy was just beginning to build its first battleships. These vessels arrived in the midst of the “golden age” of presentation silver, when people were eager to show their appreciation for an Army and Navy that were important and visible symbols of the nation’s new-found identity as a modern industrialized country, respected around the world for its technological achievements. Rather than honoring the activities of individuals, the silver of this era was intended to honor vessels and their namesakes. The naming of these new ships was done with a certain amount of thought, and was intended to be both logical as well as practical. Cruisers were to be named for cities, while the larger battleships would be named for states. “The wisdom of the laws that assign American place names to our naval vessels is apparent,” observed The New York Times in 1891. “They supply a sensible system of nomenclature … instead of the old-time Greek and Indian medley, spiced with zoology, mythology, and abstract ideas. And in addition, they often arouse a specific local interest in the navy, which we see nowadays manifesting itself in the form of very handsome christening gifts.” The service for the armored cruiser New York was one of the earliest made in this new movement, and New York City leaders in particular had every intention of making it the grandest service in the Navy thus far.


The effort to give the New York a presentation silver service began, perhaps appropriately enough, on Thanksgiving in 1891 with an editorial in The New York Herald. “Knowing how keenly the officers and men of our navy appreciate every … evidence of national and State approval the HERALD proposes that our citizens shall contribute to a service of plate to be presented the ship when she is first commissioned,” the paper declared. The following day, the Herald announced the very first contributions to the cause: $100 from J. Seaver Page and $2 from a “Believer in the New Navy.” Soon, the Herald put $500 of its own money into the pot, and over the next several months it gave updates on the campaign, proudly listing new donors by name and the amount of money they had contributed. Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Russell Soley thought that the gift of a silver service to the New York was “a capital idea,” and Jefferson M. Levy, who was the then-current owner of Thomas Jefferson’s estate of Monticello, hoped that the paper would “succeed in obtaining a large sum and thereby be enabled to make the service of gold instead of silver.” In March 1892, the campaign came to an end when it was announced that a final $1,400 would be contributed by Jeannette Thurber, president of the National Conservatory of Music of America, from ticket sales for a concert given on March 23 on behalf of the New York. The Herald announced a prize of $200 for the winning design for the silver service, and eventually 28 sets of designs were submitted, of which 13 were deemed worthy enough to be submitted to the panel of judges. The winning design chosen by the panel was submitted by Charles Osborne, chief designer of the Whiting Manufacturing Company, one of the nation’s leading silver firms. It took more than a year-and-a-half to make the service, which was presented on Oct. 25, 1893, to the newly commissioned New York. The captain, John W. Philip, accepted it as an important symbol that would embody “on foreign stations the hospitality and good fellowship of the American people at home.” The service was, in terms of number of pieces, somewhat modest

Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy Museum

A silver punch bowl, made by Whiting and presented to the armored cruiser USS New York (ACR 2), circa 1878 by the New York Yacht Club.

© Tiffany & Co.

LPD 21 USS New York

– about 20 major pieces – but it was decorated with ornate representations of the Stars and Stripes, an American eagle, and the Seal of the State of New York. The centerpieces were several punch bowls, one of which was an additional piece donated by the New York Yacht Club. Recently, the set was valued at more than $260,000. The silver service served as an important part of a ship’s ability to entertain guests, a function taken advantage of perhaps more in the past than today, but silver services still serve their original purpose in the modern fleet. Even in the early decades of the 20th century, the use of silver services for official occasions was often dictated by the whim of commanding officers. The elaborate service made for the cruiser Maryland (ACR 8) in 1905, for instance, was used regularly in the officers’ mess; by the late 1920s, however, the service was largely kept in storage on board the new caretaker, the battleship Maryland (BB 46). Because the centerpieces of most silver sets were almost always punch bowls, the etiquette and use of presentation sets for foreign or official visitors often revolved around the time-honored ceremony of toast giving. Until the early 20th century, such toasts of course were made with various alcoholic concoctions. All this changed in 1914 with the issuance of General Order 99, signed by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, which prohibited alcohol on all Navy vessels and shore stations. Unfortunately for the new battleship New York, about to be commissioned in April of that year, the secretary’s order (which would take effect on July 1) arrived just in time to put a bit of a crimp in the plans for a new silver service to be added to that of the old cruiser. On April 7, just before signing the Carswell Bill that appropriated $10,000 for a new presentation silver service that eventually would be purchased from Tiffany & Co., New York Gov. Martin Glynn was asked what would be substituted for the punch bowl now that liquor had been banned in the Navy. “Pickle dishes, I guess,” was the governor’s sly reply. In the end, the new service actually did receive a punch bowl (presumably for nonalcoholic punch). The new service added important new pieces, such as coffee pots (to serve the liquid that soon overtook alcohol as the favored

One of the new silver pieces for USS New York from the ship’s silver registry at Tiffany & Co., an example of one of the items that individuals or companies have purchased for the ship, some of them bearing engraving honoring a 9/11 victim or veteran, or simply wishing the ship “Fair Winds and Following Seas.” The new silver will join pieces from previous ships named New York, circa 1878 and 1914, many of which were designed by Tiffany.

shipboard beverage) and cigar boxes. The central design of the service was the combined use of the seals of New York and the Department of the Navy, and incorporated elements from Dutch and English silver from the 17th century. The centerpiece, meant for fruit or flowers, has a miniature model of Henry Hudson’s ship, the Half Moon, which entered New York Harbor in 1609. The service, completed in late 1916, now consists of more than 80 pieces and is valued at about $400,000. The combined sets served faithfully on board the battleship New York for nearly 30 years, being removed for operations during both world wars, until permanently removed in 1945 just before the ship was decommissioned. Because of the size and quality of the ship’s silver service, the set was sent to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., nominally under the care of the academy’s museum. Much of the silver, however, ended up at Buchanan House, the residence of the academy’s superintendent, where it has been used for entertaining foreign and domestic dignitaries. By one estimate, Buchanan House was hosting about 10,000 guests a year by the 1970s and was thought to be only second to the White House in terms of the number of official government visitors who were entertained there. Because of the nearly continuous use of the silver service (greater, indeed, than that of any active ships in the fleet), the Navy declined six requests between 1952 and 1986 to have the service either moved to a new vessel or back to the state of New York. In each case, various Navy officials cited the importance of the service to the Naval Academy and the tradition of keeping silver services with ships

bearing the name of the state from which they had been received. Today, a new USS New York (LPD 21) is entering the fleet, the first vessel to bear the name of both the state and city of New York in more than 60 years. A large portion of the historic silver service from the armored cruiser and battleship New York will go on board its namesake vessel, carrying on the old custom. These priceless objects of naval silver will be carried to sea once again, to serve as telling reminders of the storied past of the Navy and as symbols of the people of the Empire State, which has given – and sacrificed – so much for the sea services and the nation. With the new New York, additional items will be added to the service. The first of those new items is a coffee and tea service donated by Tiffany & Co. In addition, and as a special feature to match the more utilitarian needs of the times, Tiffany has created a registry for the ship’s silver service, a list of what New York needs in the way of silver items. Now individuals can use the registry to purchase silver directly for the ship, and anyone interested in becoming part of the history of the new USS New York can go to the USS New York Commissioning Committee official Web site ( and click on a navigation bar labeled “Be Part of Naval History” to get to the Tiffany registry. Once again, silver and steel have been bonded. This time the steel contains 7.5 tons of that metal from the remains of the Twin Towers, and the silver, as established by long tradition, has come from New Yorkers in support of those who are defending their values and lives.


A History of the New York Council Navy League of the United States By Richard H. Wagner

A student of the history of sea power, Theodore Roosevelt was very concerned about the type of thinking that led to such post-war reductions. During the second half of the 19th century, he had seen the vast state-of-the-art fleet that existed at the end of the Civil War become small and obsolete. Since he believed that a strong Navy was a deterrent to war, he viewed as short-sighted the notion that spending on the sea services in times of peace is wasteful. Accordingly, as a public figure, and especially as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the first William McKinley administration, he pressed for naval preparedness. At the same time, Roosevelt gathered around him like-minded people to help campaign for a strong Navy. Since Roosevelt


was a prominent New Yorker, it is not surprising that many of the people who joined this circle were also New Yorkers. In 1901, Roosevelt became president of the United States, and made building and maintaining a strong, modern Navy a key element of his agenda. Britain, Germany, Japan, and other powers were modernizing and enlarging their fleets. Still, there was a need to educate and persuade other public officials and the general public why it was necessary for America to do the same when two vast oceans separated her from these potential belligerents. During a meeting of the New York Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States in November 1902, Herbert Satterlee suggested the formation of a civilian organization that would

Photo by Bryan Birch

Looking across American history, one sees that in the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, and at the end of the Cold War, the United States had a large and powerful fleet. Thus, it is tempting to conclude that from the time of President Lincoln onwards, America has always had a powerful Navy. However, what actually happened was that after each major conflict, spending on the Navy and Marine Corps was cut drastically and the size of the sea services reduced to a shadow of their former selves, only to be rebuilt in haste when the next war was upon the country.

Photo by Richard H. Wagner

Photo by Richard H. Wagner

LPD 21 USS New York

provide support for the United States Navy similar to that provided to the Royal Navy by Great Britain’s Navy League. The idea met with general approval and after obtaining the support of the Navy Department, and with Roosevelt’s encouragement, a committee met at the New York Yacht Club to draft a constitution for such an organization. Then, in January 1903, the organization was incorporated in New York as the Navy League of the United States. Membership in the new organization would be open to all except serving sea services personnel and members of Congress. Members would be grouped into local organizations called “councils,” which would promote the interests of the sea services on the local level. There also would be a national board of directors and national officers who would interact with the national government. Since the Navy League was a New York corporation, both the national officers and the New York Council were based in New York at the beginning. As is evident from the successful around the world cruise of the Great White Fleet at the end of the Roosevelt administration, Roosevelt and the Navy League met with initial success in persuading Congress and the public of the need for a strong Navy. However, in the administrations that followed, political and public sentiment turned against spending on the Navy, which was deemed wasteful at best and provocative at worst. As a result, the military in general was largely unprepared when the United States entered World War I in 1918. The war created new roles for the Navy League beyond that of educating the public about the sea services. Local councils assisted in recruiting for the Navy and Marine Corps. In addition, the Navy League became involved in providing direct support for members of the sea services and their families, in-

Photo by Bryan Birch

Opposite page: A group of New York Navy Leaguers during a visit to USS George Washington (CVN 73). Above: Capt. James B. Boorujy, commanding officer of USS Nassau (LHA 4) addressing members of the New York Council in his quarters on Nassau. Above right: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen speaks with New York Council President Dr. Daniel Thys. Right: Sea cadets of the New York Council sponsored Capodanno unit at the controls of USS Springfield (SSN 761) during a Council visit.

cluding legal services for sailors and Marines and insurance for their dependents. Also, since the government had not made adequate preparation to clothe the sea services, Navy Leaguers sent clothing and other items of comfort to those serving in the Navy and Marine Corps. Following World War I, America went into disarmament mode, and the sea services were slashed. At first, this was the result of optimism that the world would not repeat the mistakes that led to the war, but then as dictators took power in Germany, Italy and Japan, isolationism became the driving force. Still, the Navy League continued to argue for naval preparedness as the nation’s first line of defense. One of the ways of engendering support for the sea services was through Navy Day celebrations organized by the Navy


LPD 21 USS New York

Photo by Richard H. Wagner

Capt. Boorujy and New York Council visitors to USS Nassau.

League. The first Navy Day was Oct. 27, 1922 – a date selected because it was Roosevelt’s birthday. The festivities included visits by Navy ships to American cities, where thousands would go on board. In New York, it also included an annual dinner where government officials and senior officers would speak. These events attracted a great amount of press coverage and helped to keep the Navy in the public eye. In 1932, New Yorker Franklin D. Roosevelt became president. Like his cousin, he had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and was a great believer in sea power. However, public sentiment was still strongly isolationist. Consequently, Roosevelt was grateful for the Navy League’s outspoken support for his ship building program. When war came, the Navy League again provided direct support for those serving in the Navy and Marine Corps and their families. The New York Council started a family assistance program that purchased gifts and household necessities for Navy families. Some 2,200 shopping orders were placed each day in New York alone. It also continued to play an active role in Navy Day celebrations. The parade along Fifth Avenue in 1942 featured 10,000 sailors and drew 300,000 spectators. After the war, the government once again slashed the fleet. Indeed, considerable currency was given to the idea that nuclear weapons had made the Navy obsolete. The Navy League argued strongly against such notions and was vindicated when the Korean War demonstrated that a strong Navy was still very much needed. At a Navy League dinner in New York in 1952, Fleet Adm. William “Bull” Halsey urged the League to “continuously keep before our people the need for an up-to-the-minute Navy,” and keeping the Navy in the public eye was a top priority for the League throughout the Cold War period. To this end, in 1957, New York Council President John J. Bergen persuaded New York City officials to hold a parade honoring 67 Navy flag officers and Marine generals who led the sea services to victory in the Pacific.

During this period, the Navy League also increased its commitment to youth programs. At the urging of Adm. Arleigh Burke, the Navy League created the Naval Sea Cadets Corps as a separate but related organization. The New York Council remains a sponsor of several sea cadet units. Concerned about the unpopularity of the Vietnam War, the Johnson Administration attempted to reduce the cost of the war by reducing capital spending on the Navy. It also sought to reduce cost by under-paying Navy sailors. The Navy League protested both policies and was successful in persuading Congress to pass an increase in pay for the military. After the Vietnam War, the sea services once again suffered severe cutbacks. However, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1982, the government’s attitude toward the Navy changed, and it was recognized that a strong Navy was key to defeating the Soviet Union. However, the public and Congress also had to be persuaded. The New York Council recognized that one of the ways of developing public support for the Navy was to let the public get to know the Navy first hand. There were no longer any Navy bases in New York, ships were not being built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and there was no longer a draft, so most New Yorkers never had any contact with the Navy. To rectify that situation, the New York Council proposed having a flotilla of Navy ships come to New York each year so that New Yorkers could visit the ships and the crewmembers and embarked Marines could visit the city. After the successful visit to New York by the battleship Iowa (BB 61) for the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty, the Navy agreed, and the first Fleet Week was held in 1987. The New York Council has remained an active participant in Fleet Week ever since. In addition to the annual Fleet Week visits, the New York council has sponsored Navy ship commissionings. In April 1997, it hosted the commissioning of USS The Sullivans (DDG 68). Shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Council played a leading role in the commissioning of USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), which, like the commissioning of USS New York, took place at Piers 86-88 in Manhattan. The Council also participated in the commissioning of USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) in 1988. Today, the New York Council is building upon its history. Just as in 1902, the objective remains to provide support to the sea services. The first task undertaken by the Navy League was to educate people about the sea services. In keeping with that mission, the council presents programs throughout the year to inform its members and the public of current issues facing the sea services. Recently, these included talks by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, Congressman Steve Israel, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Tom Hall. A panel including former U.S. Senator James Talent discussed the need for an adequate defense budget. Rear Adm. Robert Reilly, USN, commander, Military Sealift Command, was on another panel that discussed the state of the U.S. Merchant Marine. The council has also presented three symposia featuring members of the faculty of the Naval War College.


LPD 21 USS New York

Photos by Richard H. Wagner

Above: Council Executive Director Richard Kenney with Rear Adm. Charles Michel (USCG) at the Coast Guard Art Program reception. Right: Navy Leaguers and Sea Cadets man the galley of USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81).

When the sea services were developing a new maritime strategy, the council hosted a public forum where then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael D. Mullen spoke. It also hosted a public forum where business leaders were able to speak with Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter. Each year the council offers opportunities for members to meet on-duty sea services personnel and thus learn first-hand about today’s services. In 2008 these included visits to USS Bataan (LHD 5) and USS Nassau (LHA 4). Communication is key to getting one’s message across. Accordingly, in addition to the programs and events described earlier, the council publishes its own magazine, The Log, which features articles about the sea services in New York, the council’s activities, naval history, and the issues confronting the sea services. It is distributed to the council’s members, senior officers of the sea services, colleges and universities, libraries, and to executives of the merchant marine. In addition, the council’s Web site brings the Navy League’s message to an even wider audience. The council also helps to inform the public about the sea services by encouraging scholars to write about the sea services. It co-sponsors – with the Theodore Roosevelt Association and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute – the Roosevelt Naval History Award, which is presented each year to an outstanding author of a book on naval history. A council tradition since World War I has been providing direct morale-enhancing activities to members of the sea services. To this end, the council has “adopted” the following ships and stations: Coast Guard Sector New York; SUBGROUP TWO;

USS Dallas (SSN 700); USS San Juan (SSN 751); and USS Springfield (SSN 761). Council members periodically travel to the SUBASE in New London and provide lunch to the crews of one or more boats. Contributions are also made to the boats’ holiday parties as well as on other special occasions. Similarly, the council hosts a number of events for the crews of ships that have not been officially adopted. In recent years, these have included a dinner cruise for the sailors from USS Anzio (CG 68) and USS George Washington (CVN 73) as well as for sailors stationed in the Norfolk, Va., area. The council also took over the galley duty during USS The Sullivans’ recent


LPD 21 USS New York

Photo by Richard H. Wagner

Left: Council Vice President Richard Wagner presents a cake to commanding officer Lt. Amy Florentino during a council visit to USCGC Katherine Walker (WLM 552). Above: Council President Dr. Daniel Thys presents professors from the Naval War College at a Council Symposium.

visit to Staten Island and provided meals to the crew of USCGC Abbie Burgess (WLM 551) during her call in New York. The council makes a special effort to ensure that the Navy crewmembers and embarked Marines visiting New York for Fleet Week feel welcome. In addition to a reception for the commanding officers, the council hosts a dinner for junior officers and a dinner cruise for some 200 senior enlisted personnel. The council also distributes tickets to Broadway shows to visiting service personnel. Next, the council seeks to support sea services personnel by furthering their professional education. The council donates thousands of dollars each year to the Marine Corps University Foundation, which inter alia distributes books to the fleet and shore stations worldwide. It also donates to the Naval War College Foundation to help it enhance the learning experience at the War College by providing books, equipment and facilities not covered by government appropriations. Another tradition that goes back almost a century is providing direct assistance to sea services families. The council offers scholarships to young people whose parents are from the New York metropolitan area and who have served or are serving currently in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marine. These are in addition to the scholarships the council awards to five midshipmen from the U.S. Merchant Ma-

rine Academy and five cadets from the SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler. The council provides scholarships in memory of Corp. Jason Dunham, USMC, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Iraq, and in memory of Lt. Michael Murphy, USN, who received the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. Their names, along with all of the other New Yorkers who have received the Medal of Honor, are engraved on a plaque the council maintains in Times Square. The council also holds a fundraiser each December for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Support for sea services youth programs has long been a priority for the Council. It sponsors NJROTC units at George Washington High School and at Graphic Communication Arts High School in New York City and provides support to the units at Westbury High School and Freeport High School on Long Island. The council is the sponsor of the Capodanno Sea Cadet Unit as well as the Aegis and Liberty Divisions of sea cadets. In sum, the New York Council is actively maintaining a century-old tradition of supporting America’s sea services. The council is always looking for new members to get involved in the support of the U.S. Navy. The council office can be reached at (212) 825-7333 or online at


LPD 21 USS New York

Shipbuilder: An Interview with Mike Petters, President of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding By John D. Gresham and Susan L. Kerr

Warships do not just spring to life: They have to be designed and built for the crews that will sail them into harm’s way. The process of constructing ships like USS New York (LPD 21) often takes decades to complete, and represents one of the most high-risk commercial ventures available to those with ambition and a desire to make money. Military shipbuilding is one of the last great heavy industries left in America, which used to lead the world in such ventures. So someone doing it well and making money in the process is cause for celebration among investors as well as interest among politicians and competitors. Today, only a handful of American companies dare to compete in this business, and the unqualified leader is Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding (NGSB). An amalgam of legacy shipbuilding enterprises, including Newport News Shipbuilding, Litton Ingalls, and Avondale Shipbuilding among others, NGSB is the product of a massive industrial consolidation that only today is being fully integrated. Exclusive builders of aircraft carriers and amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy, they also build nuclear submarines and guided missile destroyers. Employing 40,000 workers in four main yards, doing $5.5 billion in yearly business, NGSB is the largest private employer in states like Virginia and Mississippi. Mike Petters, the president of NGSB, runs this massive enterprise. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and officer in nuclear submarines, 48-year-old Petters runs the single largest shipbuilding concern in the Western Hemisphere. What follows are his thoughts on USS New York, NGSB, the shipbuilding business, and the special folks he chooses to associate with: shipbuilders. John D. Gresham – You’ve been building these things (warships) for a while haven’t you? Mike Petters – [Laughs] I’m starting to get long in the tooth! I’ve been building ships at Newport News and for Northrop Grumman for over 20 years, and I’ve been associated with shipbuilding and ships and shipyards for over 25 years.

You’ve worked on aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and all sorts of other warships. What is it you see in the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships that makes them unique, both in terms of their construction and capabilities? My full introduction to this ship, the San Antonio-class (LPD 17) amphibious transport dock ship, was about a year and a half ago when we decided to integrate the business. I think one of the things that sets warships apart from all other kinds of vessels is that they are typically very focused in their missions, and their designs are very specific to what they set out to accomplish. I don’t think that is different in this class of ships, the LPDs, versus the nuclear submarine and aircraft carrier designs we produce.


In this case, they support our expeditionary Navy and carry Marines and put them ashore. What we’ve found in the process of building these ships is that they have a lot of flexibility and capability that has been called on lately by the U.S. Navy. What are your general impressions of the LPD 17-class ships, and the New York in particular? The whole LPD 17 class is a pretty capable design. What I think is different about the New York from earlier ships of the class is the emotion that’s attached to it. We have steel from the remains of the World Trade Center in the bow, and the ship is being built at our yard in New Orleans. There is a definite connection between the cities of New York and New Orleans over the things that have happened to both places in the past few years. The cities have mutually supported each other, and for me, in terms of all of the shipbuilding experiences I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a few – this one has a lot more emotion tied up into it by the communities involved. The City of New York and the City of New Orleans are attached to this ship, and they’re attached to each other. I think that that’s going to create a strength in the crew that will serve it well for decades. Presently, the LPD 17 construction program is structured and shared between the Northrop Grumman shipyards at Avondale, La., and Pascagoula, Miss. What have you accomplished so far with the two yards supporting each other? We’re still working our way through a lot of that. The New York is from our Avondale yard, and if you look at the next four ships we have under contract, two of them are going to be delivered from Pascagoula, and two of them will be delivered from Avondale. The delivery of New York from Avondale will greatly inform the delivery team in terms of the construction processes and procedures. One of the things we did when we decided to do this integration business was put a test-and-trials team together that is responsible for the tests and trials of all the ships we’re going to deliver from the Gulf Coast. And it has been a busy summer 2009 for them, because they have been going through the trials of a destroyer out of Pascagoula, and they’ve turned right around in a matter of just days and


gone over to Avondale to lead a very successful set of trials on New York. That same team is then scheduled to come back and lead the builder’s trials on Waesche, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter out of Pascagoula. This is just one area where we are taking the lessons we have learned in each yard and integrating them into our delivery teams. The integration effort of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding includes our efforts to incorporate quality workmanship into all of these ships, whether it’s pipe and welding quality, or electrical quality, or even the hull and mechanical quality. We also have developed and implemented the exchange forms to make sure we standardize our processes, track our quality metrics, and continue to drive first-time quality into everything that we’re doing. Obviously, some of the early units of this ship class (LPD 17) had some quality problems, many of which pre-date the acquisition of either yard (Avondale and Pascagoula) by Northrop Grumman. What is the current state of the program from a quality standpoint at delivery, and what are you doing to make them better? Well, first of all we’re absolutely committed to the quality of the product [the LPD 17 amphibious transport dock ships], and our emphasis has been on trying to improve the quality further upstream during the construction process. My word for that is “firsttime quality.” By this I mean the quality of the work that is being done early in construction to be of “delivery” quality. It is incredibly disruptive to the shipbuilding process to do something at the beginning of construction, only to have to do it over later in construction. It’s harder to get at, and it’s disruptive to all the workers around it. What we are seeing now is that by giving our people the tools they need, by setting the expectations for them, and then by finding the right metrics and tracking their performance earlier in the stages of ship construction, we are seeing some pretty impressive improvements in those first-time quality metrics. The proof of this will be seen in the delivery of the ships. I believe the trials that we just ran on New York represent just that. It is a data point of “1,” but I believe that trial is indicative of the kind of improvement we’re going to see

over this class of ships as we go forward building the later units of the class. New York is the fifth unit of the class. How has she gone together down at Avondale, and how have those sea trials that you just talked about gone? Well, she’s gone together very well. The folks at Avondale now have a couple of these [LPD 17-class ships] under their belt, especially as we have begun the process of integration and really been able to bring some of the lessons from all our shipbuilding enterprise components to bear on this product. We’ve been able to head off some issues before they became major issues at the end of construction. What that led to was a sea trial here last month [July] that was remarkable in every regard. The fit and finish of the ship was very good, as was the functionality of the ship. The Navy appears to be very happy with the product that we have at this point, and we’re working our way through to get to delivery this year. You referenced earlier the special story of this ship and the connection it has to 9/11 and the World Trade Center. If you can, please explain to the people who are going to read about this what that means in terms of the construction, and what your workers did with the metal from the Fishkill disposal site. What was the reaction of your employees to working on a ship like this? I think that any time you have the kind of national tragedy that we had in New York, and you give Americans the opportunity to participate in some way to memorialize that, to heal from that event, I think that they will rise to that occasion, and I don’t think this situation is any different. After all that had happened in New York on 9/11, the shipbuilders in New Orleans were going to be honored by having the chance to build this ship with that steel. That would have been special in itself. But then you compound this with the Hurricane Katrina story, and what Katrina did to the Gulf Coast and our Avondale shipyard, particularly the flooding in New Orleans and the shipbuilders who were displaced from their homes by that storm. Then they see New York City firefighters and rescue teams there on the site helping them. That creates a special level of bonding between

USS New York LPD 21

those two cities. The New Orleans fire departments and rescue teams were in New York in September 2001, and the New York fire departments and rescue teams and policemen were in New Orleans in 2005. For the shipbuilders to have a chance to participate in that American history is an incredibly moving and emotional event for them. How much recovered steel from Fishkill went into the bow of USS New York? It was about seven and a half tons. After New York how many more LPD 17s is Northrop Grumman contracted to build? Four currently. There is already longlead funding for the fifth and the sixth units. We’re moving to negotiate the contract for the fifth one presently, and look forward to building more ships based upon the LPD 17 hull. Right now we have two planned in each yard. We certainly will continue to review how’s the best way to produce them and where they should be produced and all of that, but right now we’ve got two to go in each [yard]. For a lot of reasons these ships have been a class run in two shipyards, and there have been different build strategies at each facility. What we’re doing now is focusing on creating a single-class build plan, because we can see where this class is going. The functionality and capability of the San Antonio-class carries it far beyond the existing LPD requirement. We see having a class plan, a series production plan, and being able to work through a common process as a way for us to take some significant costs out of building them. To the extent that we’re able to take the cost out of it, we’re able to determine our future. A personal question now. Speaking for the tens of thousands of people of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, how do you feel about building ships? [Laughter] Let me tell you about shipbuilding. Just who is a shipbuilder? Shipbuilders are usually the first ones to leave their neighborhoods in the morning to go to work and they’re the last ones to come home at night. Often, they’re the ones who leave after a Little League practice to go back to work at night, and they come home in the morning just in time to see their kids off to school. They are the ones who coach


those Little League teams. They are the ones who hold your schools and churches together. They are the fabric of the community. And they are the fabric of the communities wherever they live, whether it’s in Virginia or Mississippi, Louisiana or California. When they come to work, they want to do a good job. And they are able to do something that most of us don’t get a chance to, and that is to take raw material and somehow with their hands transform it into something that is greater than themselves. They make it into something that is going to go out and make history for 30, 40, or even 50 years. They do that with their hands. They just didn’t wake up and say, “I can go do this.” They had to learn how to do the shipbuilding trade. They had to take instruction from people who have been building ships for a long time. They had to go to school, they had to be apprentices, they had to go to engineering classes, and they had to get degrees. So, they’ve not only had to work with their hands, but also they have a lot of knowledge and intelligence in their head in this, because shipbuilding is a very complex business. We have craftsmen who can run their fingers across a plate and tell you whether it’s flat or not. They can also do that with a laser beam. So, it’s not just their hands, but their heads too. But what I love about shipbuilders the most is that every single thing they do, they put their hearts into it. Whether it is the work that they are doing, the work that their co-workers are doing, the way they look out for each other from a safety and quality standpoint. They have the unique opportunity to come to work every day and use their hands, their heads, and they use their hearts. And then they go home and they hold our communities up. Where else would you want to work? Where else could you find that? There are other places where you can get that, but I happen to have the privilege of being associated with 40,000 people who get the chance to do that every single day. When I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to get here. That is what shipbuilding is! And it’s a multi-generational business, isn’t it? There’re all kinds of nuances to it. I mean, we’ve got five generations now working together here in Virginia. We’re

now on four generations down in Mississippi. You stop and think about how many college educations were spawned here in this shipyard, how many nighttime ‘round the dinner table discussions between parents and their children started with a day laborer in the shipyard? How many loaves of bread were baked to support the work that was going on in the shipyard? It is mind-numbing to step back and see what the impacts the people in this business have on the fabric of our society. How’s your personnel base holding up in terms of retirements versus new hires and trainees? We’re about to go into a pretty heavy hiring process at Newport News, and we have been hiring aggressively on the Gulf Coast. What’s happening in Newport News is that we’re going through the post-Cold War retirement phase of our workforce. What’s happening on the Gulf Coast is that we’re bringing entirely new people into the business. So it’s a couple of different personnel challenges on both ends of our business geographically. We’ve by and large been able to hire to the numbers that we wanted to hire to. But it’s not just hiring people. It’s making sure they have the training and certifications that they need. It’s making sure they’re qualified to do the work that we assign them, and that we’re able to track and evaluate all of that. Creating or enhancing those training courses and institutions where we already have them is a big part of what we’re working on right now. As we sit here today, how do you feel about this company that you run? I’m pretty optimistic about the future. If you step back and look at the portfolio of things that shipbuilding is going to be doing … somebody has to be building something, and we’re going to be making something. We are still working through some of the challenges of recapitalizing the Gulf Coast shipbuilding facilities after Hurricane Katrina, for example. As we have worked our way through those issues, as we work our way out of those issues and we integrate this business, I see a portfolio of work that will provide a healthy base of business for many years. My focus is on making sure that we continue to provide the kind of future and the kind of leadership that our shipbuilders deserve.

LPD 21 USS New York

PLANK owners Command Leadership CDR F. Curtis Jones, USN CDR Erich Brian Schmidt, USN CMDCM(SM) Robert William Stocklin, USN

Officers LT Stephen D. Argroves, USN ENS Maria J. Batdorff, USN LCDR Laura Jane Bender, CHC, USN LT Peter J. Blameuser, USN ENS Mauricio Blondet, USN LT Reza Chegini, USN ENS Timothy Gorman, USN ENS Paul Guebert, USN LCDR Christopher Harris, USN ENS Jamal L. Headen, USN LT Jeffrey A. Hextell, USN ENS Paul John Kloepping, USN LTJG Michael R. Kreider, USN

LTJG Angela Laird, USN ENS Jason Lancaster, USN LT Erin Elizabeth Millea, D.D.S., USN LTJG John Moore, USN ENS Jeremy Mowery, USN ENS Howard W. Newell III, USN LTJG Dennis Palaniuk, USN LTJG Robert B. H. Phaneuf, USN LT Melissa Renee Proud, USN LT James D. Raymond, USN LTJG Kyle Recker, USN LTJG Richard A. Reese, SC, USN LTJG Shallia Saptoro, USN LT Vaughn Schneider, USN ENS Philip B. Smith, USN LT Adam Michael Van Den Boom, M.D., USN LTJG Matt Walton, USN LT Donald V. Wilson, USN LT Richard Zabawa, USN LT Elizabeth Worley Zdunich, USN


LPD 21 USS New York

Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

Enlisted BM2 Ryan Abbott, USN OS2(SW) Mitchell Adams, USN IT2(SW) James C. Alcorn, USN EM1(SW) Gary Lynn Allbee Jr., USN ITSN(SW) Justin R. Anderson, USN ENFR Matthew Arthur, USN ET3(SW) David K. Atkins, USN DCFN Nicholas A. Atkins, USN SK2(SW/AW) Darrius Mackellis Austin, USN FCC(SW) Ronald L.B. Bailey Sr., USN GM3 Scott Bailey, USN ENFR Dereck Baker, USN ITSN Joshua A. Barker, USN EN1(SW) Joshua Barnes, USN ET2(SW) Joseph R. Bennett, USN DC1(SW) Paul George Bershers, USN IT3 Jhrimack E. Besarra, USN ABF1(AW/SW) Joseph William Birdsell, USN EN2(SW/AW) Kyle Blackniak, USN HTC(SW) Joshua Boeltz, USN ENFR Charles Bolanos, USN ENFR Esteban Bolanos, USN ENFR Duane Boltinghouse, USN EN1(SW) Michael Borden, USN ABH3 Matthew Thomas Bork, USN IT1(SW) Geoffrey D. Box, USN CSSA Andrew Lee Bradford, USN ABF2(AW) Karlus Breaux, USN ENFR Benjamin Brennan, USN ICFN Brandy L. Briggs, USN ITC(SW/AW) Hakeen S. Bristow, USN HM1(SW/AW) Mark Gregory Brown, USN EM2(SW/AW) Ramel Bumanglag, USN DC1(SW) Clayton D. Byington, USN ENFA Alan Cai, USN HM3 Malarie Dawn Campbell, USN SN Israel Cardenas III, USN BMSA John Carlson, USN EN1(SW) Timothy Carlton, USN YN1(AW) Mia Raychelle Carney, USN DCFN Michael Carpenter, USN ENFR Richard Casey, USN BMSR Thomas Casey, USN PSC(SW/AW) Ronald Undra Chandler, USN SK1(SW/AW) Joquel Natarkie Chapple, USN QMC(SW) Venetta Victoria Charles, USN IT1(SW) Brett C. Cheuvront, USN ETCS(SW) David P. Close, USN HT2 James Coker, USN BMSA Marcus Coleman, USN EMFA Andre Collins, USN SN Tyler D. Collins, USN SR Peter Colon, USN GM3 Christine E. Cooke, USN

YN1(SW) Craig Thomas Copeland, USN BMSA Hector Cortes, USN EN2 Argenis Cottesgonzales, USN HM1 Winette Cox, USN EMFN Christopher Craft, USN ET2 Darrell E. Crawford, USN IC3(SW) Zachary L. Cripe, USN ENC(SW) Mark J. Cromer, USN ABHC(AW/SW) Timothy Gregory Croxton, USN SA Bryant Curley, USN HM3 Dale Melvin Daffron, USN BMSA Peter D’Alessandron, USN BM2 Ozell Daniels, USN GMC(SW/EXW/SCW) Richard Daue, USN BM1(SW) Alan O. Davenport, USN BMSN Adrionnia B. Davis, USN OS1 Robert Earl Davis, USN CSCS(SW/AW) Mary Beth Davis-Wells, USN QM2(SW/AW) Brandy Nicole Day, USN FCC(SW) John James DeAngellis, USN HM2 Kristina Leonora Decena, USN CSSR Shawn Clinton DeHorney, USN CTT1(SW) Charles Denham, USN SKC(SW/AW) Rosa Esthela-Barrera Diaz, USN ET3 Matthew J. Dimmick, USN OS1(SW/AW) Amanda April Doige, USN SR Lee Van Domingo, USN ENFN Dwayne Donaldson, USN ENFR Paul Dotson, USN CTT3 Richard J. Doucette, USN BMSA Timothy Dronko, USN EN2(SW) Samuel C. Dugo, USN PSSN Ruth Wambraire Dupree, USN CSSR Brian Joseph Dvorak, USN BM2(SW/AW) Walter Stanley Dybis, USN HM2 Cleora Dannyel Edwards, USN EN3 Kam-Mira Edwards, USN CTT1 Kerstin Elliott, USN HM2 Holly Eve, USN BMSN Felix Fernandez, USN EN1 Alexander Figueroa, USN SSgt Juan C. Fisher, USMC BMSN David Foley, USN ENFN Vincent Fontana, USN OS2 Cecilia A. Fosu, USN DCFN Zita E. Foto, USN DC2(SW) Christina Gallegos, USN RP1(FMF) Edmond Peter Garrett IV, USN ENCM(SW) Christopher Gary, USN IT1(SW/AW) Genita M. Gentry, USN BMSA Mark George, USN QM3 Myra Gillespie, USN DCFR Randall Ginn, USN HMC(SW) Colin T. Glynn, USN EMFN Avinash Gomes, USN OS2(SW/AW) Daquita J. Goodrich, USN


U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corey Lewis

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class James Alcorn raises the Navy Jack for the first time aboard the amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commisioning Unit (PCU) New York (LPD 21) after the Navy took custody of the ship.

LPD 21 USS New York CWO2 Greg Gorczyca, USN IC3 Benjamin Gorter, USN EN3 Tameka R. Granison, USN SR Ian Graves, USN ET1(SW) Thomas M. Grawl, USN DCFN Nicholas Ryan Gregrow, USN SKC(SW) Keenan George Gresham, USN ENFR Max Groesbeck, USN EMFA Shoulong Gu, USN EN3 Trevor Gulish, USN PC1 Joseph Earl Guss, USN OS2 Andrew Hahn, USN HTFN Zachary Hanes, USN FC1(SW/AW) Chad Eugene Hardwick, USN IT1 Bryan T. Harman, USN YNSN Kimberly Sue Harman, USN SKSN Jordan Johnnie Harris, USN CSSN Noah Tommy Harrison, USN BMSA Keegan Hartman, USN BMSN Jeffrey W. Haynes, USN FC3 Chaley Henderson, USN GMC(SW) Robert Henderson, USN IT3 Sylas G. Hensley, USN EN1(SW/EXW) Brandon Higgs, USN SHSN Victoria Highsmith, USN EN3 Christopher Hill, USN EMFN Jordan Hoff, USN SA Christopher Hoffman, USN EN1(SW) Donald C. Holmes, USN ET3 David L. Howard, USN SK1(SW) Carl Anthony Hunt, USN EM3 DeAnna Jackson, USN EMFR Isaiah Jackson, USN CSSA Karlows Jea Jackson, USN IC1(SW/AW) Alan Jernigan, USN DCC(SW/AW) Enrique C. Jograj Jr., USN OCS Anthony Johnson, USN ABF3(AW) Daniel Nevell Johnson, USN CTT3 Jonathan Johnson, USN IT2(SW) Lavar Johnson, USN ENFR Rebbecca Johnson, USN OS1(SW) Ronald Johnson, USN ET3 Travis Johnson, USN ENFR David R. Jones, USN HMC(AW) Jason Paul Jordan, USN ENCS(SW) Thomas O. Kane, USN IC1(SW) Eric Keef, USN EM1(SW) Kraig Kellar, USN ET3 Ethan E. Kempf, USN ETC(SW/SCW/EXW) Michael William Kerrigan, USN QMSN Timothy Kidd, USN OSSN Micah Kimbrell, USN ET1(SW/AW) Daniel E. Kinder, USN MAC William Jason Kline, USN OS2(SW/AW) Marrion Canzell Knight, USN

AS3 Michael Vincent Knorr, USN QMSN Christopher Koch, USN SR Michael Kolbeck, USN SHSN Srdjan Kremonic, USN DC1(SW) Mark A. Kryger, USN BMCS(SW) Chaas C. Kunze, USN ITSN Mikal S. Kuyothrote, USN IT3 Jeremy W. Landrum, USN ENFN Scott Langford, USN SKSN Adam Carl Ledet, USN PS2 Kum-Seng Lee, USN PSC Thomas Bradford Lehman, USN MC1(SW/AW) Corey Tryone Lewis, USN FC2(SW/AW) Neco Lewis, USN QMSN Jason Lightburn, USN HTFN Stephen Lippold, USN CSSR Ronald Anthony Longfellow, USN BM2 Steven Christopher Love, USN SN Corey Lyons, USN OS2 Shatara M. Mackey, USN ET3 Juan Madrigal, USN BMSN Darius Magee, USN SA Marquis Manuel, USN ABHAA Hannah Lee Marihugh, USN DC2(SW) Brian Martin, USN SH1(SW/AW) Daniel M. Martinez, USN ABFAN Kathy Martinez, USN OSSN Raulito Martinez, USN BMSA Darren Martins, USN CTT3 Mallory Maurer, USN FC3 Stacey R. Mays, USN ABHAN Francis Joseph McCarthy III, USN BM1(SW) Roderick McCaskill, USN EN2 John McConico, USN HM1 Michelle Yolanda McCray, USN SN Benjamin McDowell, USN CWO3 Shawn E. McGowan, USMC FC2(SW/AW) Jeremy L. McHenry, USN CS2 Gloria Nadecha Medina, USN SR Jhonnier Mejiaherrera, USN DCFN Donita Milgan, USN SN Grant Mills, USN ET3 Eric Miravite, USN FC2(SW/AW) Derek E. Mitchell, USN IT3 Brian T. Moller, USN PSSN Antwan Deawn Montague, USN ET1(SW) Glen Moody, USN BMSN Carlos Moore, USN ABFAN Keith Bernard Moore, USN HMC(SW/AW) Casey Raquel Moorer, USN SR Jordan Morelli, USN ABFAA Edward Moreno-Bahena, USN OS1(SW) Earl Morey, USN SR Brandon Morris, USN HTFN Tiffany Moser, USN


USS New York LPD 21 GySgt John B. Mulder IV, USMC IT2(SW) James Murray, USN HM3(FMF) Kevin Joseph Muse, USN FC2 Kelli N. Myers, USN ET2(SW) John T. Nagy, USN SHSN Ronald P. Nepacena, USN SHC(SW/AW) Hilton L. Newton, USN QM1 Steven M. Olague, USN SN Rocky Orr, USN YN2 Michael Anthony Ortiz, USN HM1 Donald Charles Orton, USN HTFN Ty D. Ottbeiriger, USN YN2(SW/AW) Aaron Elroy Palacio, USN PS3 Woodson Raynard Parker, USN EM2(SW) Suzie Sophia Parris, USN BM2 Tricia L. Pearson, USN OS3 Anthony Pflugradt, USN DCC(SW) Matthew J. Platto, USN ABHAN Kevin Robert Probach, USN CTTC(SW/AW) Richard Rabineau, USN BMSN Gaspar Ramos, USN AS2(AW) Willie Louis Ratliff, USN BM3(SW) Franklin Rendo, USN ABFAR Robert Anderson Richardson, USN GMSN Ashley N. Roberts, USN MR2 Robert Rodado, USN SH2(SW) Ebony Kiysha Rogers, USN EM3 Jaime J. Rojas, USN SR Zachary Romena, USN OS2 Arnaldo Romero, USN BMSR Joseph Romero, USN FC2(SW) Kenneth G. W. Ruth, USN OS1(SW/AW) Narissa Latrice Samuels, USN ENFR Joseph Sanchez, USN CSSR Jasmine Deneka Sanders, USN IT2(SW) Nicole Saunders, USN EN1 David Sellers, USN EN2(SW) Eric Selmer, USN ET3 William Adam Shempert, USN SK1(SW/AW) Ursula D. Sheran, USN CS1 Jeffrey Shermak, USN ABH2(AW/SW) Dustin Alyn Shipman, USN ENFR Paul Silatolu, USN SR Ryan Simpson, USN HT1(SW) William Sisk, USN SR Brandon J. Smalley, USN QMSN Adam Smith, USN CS1(SW/AW) Danielle Smith, USN EM2(SW) Jason Smith, USN BMSR Lamar Smith, USN SR Leslie Smith, USN ENFR Danita Soto, USN QMSN David Soto, USN CSSA Florentino Soto, USN FC3 Mary Spell, USN


HTFN Keiaria Spires, USN DC2(SW/AW) Jennifer Stage, USN ETC(SW/SCW) Benjamin Cameron Stearns, USN EMC(SW/AW) Todd A. Steiner, USN EM2 Christopher Stevens, USN ITCM(SW/AW) Sean M. Stewart, USN HT1(SW) John Stinnett, USN ITSN Alexander T. Stokes, USN CSSN Anna Stuckey, USN HT1(SW) Wesley A. Stump, USN ET3 Nicholas Styles, USN FC1(SW/AW) Michael Sullivan, USN EN2 Glenn Swift, USN CWO4 Scott Sylvester, USN BMCS Patrick Taffe, USN IT1(SW) Shareef H. Talbert, USN ENFR Darius Talley, USN HM2(SW) Roy Antoine Teague, USN ABHAA Donna Joy Terrado, USN QM3 Debra Thomas, USN ENFR Dennis Thomas, USN NCC(SW/AW) Lori Lynn Thomas, USN CS1 Travis Thomas, USN ENFR Corey Thompson, USN CWO3 Manfred Tiedemann, USN EMFN Lester Toledo, USN CSSR Guinno Torres, USN OS1 Jerred M. Truman, USN GM2(SW/AW) Mindy H. Tutti, USN CS2 Chrystelle Usher, USN ENFR Salud Valdez Perez, USN SK2(SW/AW) Yudi E. Vazquez, USN ISC Tricia D. Viviano, USN SR Nicholas Vonpechmann, USN ITSN Brandon M. Waddell, USN ICFN Shatara Ward, USN ENFR Jonathan M. Watford, USN QM2 Dominique Wheelock, USN IT2(SW) Daniel D. White, USN GM3 Eric L. White, USN ICFN Lawrence White, USN IT3 Robert D. White, USN EN1 Antonn A. Williams, USN OS2 Cory Williams, USN ABFAA Keon Markee Williams, USN ABHC(AW/SW) Douglas Lee Wilmoth, USN HM2(SW) Latoya Monique Wilson, USN BMC(SW) Jared E. Winegardner, USN SH2(SW/AW) Jason Raynard Winns, USN CSC(SW/AW) Jerryl Winters, USN SR Anthony Wizner, USN ENFR Randy Woodhead, USN CTM2 Laron Worsley, USN