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Release No: 009-95
January 06, 1995



The U.S. Navy will commission the dock landing ship, Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 7, 1995, at the Navy Landing in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Mayor of the City of New Orleans, Marc Morial, will be the ceremony's principal speaker. The ship's Sponsor, Mrs. Mimi Dailey, wife of former assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, General John R. Dailey (Ret.), will also attend the ceremony.

Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) honors the national historic site in West Virginia, site of a major federal arsenal established in 1796. In 1859, Harpers Ferry was seized in a raid by the abolitionist John Brown. Located in a strategic position at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, the town changed hands several times during the first two years of the Civil War.

Harpers Ferry is the first of four LSD 41 "Cargo Variant" (CV) Class ships authorized for construction by Congress. Cargo variant dock landing ships carry two Landing Craft Air Cushion Vehicles (LCAC's), instead of the standard four, in order to provide additional cargo stowage. LCAC's are assault landing craft capable of exceeding 40 knots while carrying a 60 ton payload. The primary mission of the dock landing ship is to project naval power ashore by transporting landing force elements and assault vehicles to an objective area and provide command, control, and communication in support of an amphibious operation, "Forward ...From the Sea."

Harpers Ferry is 609 feet in length, has a beam of 84 feet and displaces 16,820 tons. Commander Charles P. Salsman, U.S. Navy, a native of Newport, Rhode Island, will be the ship's commanding officer.

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