U.S. Navy has commissioned its new San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, USS Portland (LPD-27) in an official ceremony held on 21 April in Portland, Oregon.
Portland is the U.S. Navy’s 11th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. It is the third ship to bear the name USS Portland; however, it is the first ship to be named solely for Oregon’s largest city.
“USS Portland enters service in a period of dynamic security challenges, and I am confident this ship and crew will conquer these and future challenges because of the strength and talent of the sailors and Marines who will serve aboard this ship,” Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said. “I am certain that USS Portland will proudly represent both the United States and the people of Portland in maritime operations around the world for decades to come.”
Portland was built with both a well deck for launching and recovering landing craft and amphibious vehicles, and a flight deck to handle both helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
Initially, the Navy had planned for Portland to be the final San Antonio-class ship to built, but lawmakers added funding for the Navy to purchase two more of the class. Now, the Navy plans to extend the class by purchasing an additional 13 LPDs built with a modified Flight II design, which will serve as the replacement for the aging Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships (LSD-41/49).