Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the selection of the USS John P. Murtha as the name of the 10th San Antonio class Amphibious Transport Dock ship. Mabus made the announcement at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County airport in Johnstown, Pa.
The USS John P. Murtha honors the late U.S. representative and Marine who dedicated his life to serving his country. Murtha served a distinguished 37 years in the Marine Corps and received the Bronze Star with Combat “V,” two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War, retiring as a colonel in 1990.
In his public life, Murtha served the people of Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 until his death in 2010. In his position as the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, he oversaw funding issues for the Department of Defense, including the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and the intelligence community.
"Both in uniform and in the halls of Congress, Chairman Murtha dedicated his life to serving his country both in the Marine Corps and Congress. His unwavering support of our sailors and Marines, and in particular our wounded warriors, was well known and deeply appreciated," said Mabus.
The future USS John P. Murtha will be used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies, by embarked air cushion or conventional landing craft or expeditionary fighting vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. It will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.
The amphibious transport dock ship will be 684 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 105 feet, displace approximately 25,000 tons, and will make speed in excess of 22 knots. It will be crewed by 363 personnel and embark an additional 700 Marines.
Additional information about San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ships is available on line at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=600&ct=4 .