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Amphibious Warfare Ships

Amphibious warfare ships are the centerpiece of the Navy-Marine Corps presence, forcible entry, and seabasing capabilities and continue to play critically essential roles in global operations. These ships are equipped with aviation and surface assault capabilities that, when coupled with their inherent survivability and self-defense systems, support a broad range of mission requirements.

The United States maintains the largest and most capable amphibious force in the world.  Amphibious warfare ships are designed to support the Marine Corps tenets of Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) and Ship to Objective Maneuver (STOM).  They are able to maneuver in harm’s way and facilitate the rapid employment and sustainment of combat power in the face of opposition.  Given their inherent capabilities, these ships will continue to be called upon to support the full range of military operations from disaster relief, foreign humanitarian assistance, noncombatant evacuation operations, other crisis response missions, to major combat operations. 

The LHA amphibious assault ship (general purpose) mission is to operate offensively in a high-density, multi-threat environment and support the strategic agility, operational reach and tactical flexibility required for successful amphibious operations and the rapid operational tempo required by the MAGTF. LHA can be the central component of an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), or as part of the seabase.  The America class is optimized for aviation operations and does not contain a well deck for surface interface operations.  The LHA 8 class will restore a two LCAC spot well deck allowing for surface interface operations while maintaining aviation capabilities commensurate with F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and MV-22 Osprey operational requirements.  Currently, there are two LHA classes: Tarawa and America.  LHA 5 USS Peleliu is the last remaining LHA of the Tarawa class and is scheduled for decommissioning in FY15.  



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The LHD 1 class amphibious assault ship (multi-purpose) mission is to operate offensively in a high density, multi-threat environment as an integral member of an amphibious ready group (ARG).  The ship is capable of functioning as an expeditionary strike group flagship.  Facilities are provided for an embarked landing force command and staff and for an Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) Commander and associated staff.  During amphibious operations, the ship can operate from over-the-horizon or close to the shoreline under restricted maneuvering conditions.  It is able to conduct sustained amphibious operations after the initial assault. The ship is capable of interfacing with both vertical and surface connectors and conducting simultaneous flight deck and well deck operations.



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The LPD 17 class amphibious transport dock mission is to operate offensively in a medium-density multi-threat environment as an integral member of an Expeditionary Strike Force (ESF) or Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG).  The LPD 17 class is not flag-configured. During amphibious assault operations, the ship can conduct near simultaneous combined and coordinated air and surface-launched operations from over-the-horizon or close to the shoreline under restricted maneuvering conditions by coordinating landing and recovery of aircraft and landing craft.  The San Antonio class has delivered nine of its eleven ships.  LPD 26 and LPD 27 will deliver in FY16 and FY17 respectively.  


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The LSD 41/49 class amphibious dock landing ship mission is to operate in a high density, multi-threat environment as an integral member of a joint task force, amphibious ready group/marine expeditionary unit (ARG/MEU), or expeditionary strike group (ESG).  LSD 41/49 class is not flag-configured and no unique facilities are provided for an embarked staff.  During amphibious operations, the ship can operate from over the horizon or close to the shoreline in restricted waters to support sustained amphibious operations after the initial assault.  The ships are capable of interfacing with both vertical and surface connectors to conduct simultaneous flight and wet well operations.  


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