According to the press release of the U.S. Navy, Secretary of the navy, Richard V.Spencer, named the next San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, LPD 30, in honor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“The people of central Pennsylvania have always played a critical role in forging the strength of our Navy and fighting to defend our nation,” said Spencer during his visit to Harrisburg. “The future USS Harrisburg will carry on this legacy to every part of the world.”
This isn’t the first ship to bear the name USS Harrisburg.
The original ship was built as a steel three-masted schooner in 1888 in Paris and later retrofitted with two funnels instead of her original three and powerful new engines, according to the History Central website. It was being used as a commercial passenger ship until the Navy acquired it in 1918 to make four trips to Europe to carry troops and supplies from America during World War I.
After the war, it made six additional transatlantic trips bringing war-weary veterans back home before being scrapped in 1923.
San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups. LPD 30 will be the first Flight II San Antonio class ship, serving as the functional replacement for the aging LSD 41/49 Whidbey Island class ships.
The ship provides the Department of the Navy with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable and built to operate with modern-day transformational platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey and amphibious assault vehicles.
USS Harrisburg will be constructed at Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship will be 684 feet long, have a beam length of 105 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 22 knots.