The following is the text of a news release from General Dynamics NASSCO:
(SAN DIEGO) (June 12) — General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has delivered the U.S. Navy’s newest ship, USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP 3 AFSB). The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated Marine and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses. Construction on USNS Lewis B. Puller began in 2013.
“Today’s delivery of the USNS Lewis B. Puller to the U.S. Navy symbolizes an immense culmination of efforts made by the hard-working men and women of the General Dynamics NASSCO shipbuilding team,” said Kevin Mooney, vice president of operations at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. “At NASSCO we are building and delivering affordable ships that are providing new and revolutionary capabilities for America’s Navy and Marine Corps.”
The afloat forward staging base (AFSB) modifications add a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, mission planning spaces and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship is capable of supporting multiple missions including air mine countermeasures (AMCM), counterpiracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response. The ship is designed to support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, and will be upgraded to support MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft.
Earlier this year, NASSCO shipbuilders christened the ship with a ceremony at the company’s shipyard in San Diego. The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., was the ceremony’s principal speaker. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of Gen. Puller, served as the ship’s sponsor.
The U.S. Navy has awarded NASSCO a contract for the detail design and construction of a fourth mobile landing platform, to be configured as another afloat forward staging base. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.