The Dock Landing Ship Oak Hill (LSD 51) will be commissioned
in a ceremony at 10:00 a.m., on Saturday, June 8, 1996, at Navy
Landing, Woldenberg Park, New Orleans, La.
The Honorable Frederick C. Smith, Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, will be
the ceremony's principal speaker. Mrs. Sandi Boomer, wife of
General Walter E. Boomer, United States Marine Corps, Retired, is
the ship's sponsor and will give the order to man our ship and
bring her to life.
Rear Admiral Wirt R. Fladd, Commander Amphibious Group
TWO/Commander Amphibious Striking Force, and Rear Admiral Paul M.
Robinson, Program Executive Officer for Carriers, Littoral
Warfare and Auxiliary Ships, Naval Sea Systems Command, will be
among the distinguished guests attending the ceremony.
Oak Hill honors the Loudoun County, Virginia home of
President James Monroe.
One previous ship named Oak Hill, also a dock landing ship (LSD
7), earned five battle stars for her World War II service and six
for her service in Vietnam.
Ships of this class are vital to the U.S. Navy's strategic
doctrine of forward presence and rapid deployment of troops and
heavy equipment to remote and distant shores, Forward...From the
Sea. Oak Hill's mission is to transport Marines with their
associated combat equipment, and launch pre-loaded assault
landing craft and helicopters during amphibious operations
against hostile shores. Oak Hill carries Air Cushion Landing
Craft (LCAC) vehicles, which are assault landing craft capable of
exceeding 40 knots while carrying a 60-ton payload.
Oak Hill is the Navy's fourth Whidbey Island Class Dock
Landing Ship, built with the cargo variant configuration, which
provides additional space for Marine Corps equipment. The ship
is 609 feet in length, has a beam of 84 feet and will displace
approximately 17,000 tons when fully loaded. Commander Michael A.
Durnan of Woodbridge, Virginia, is the commanding officer of the
ship with a crew of 22 Officers and 397 Sailors and is equipped
to carry 504 Marine troops.
The point of contract for information related to the
commissioning is Lieutenant. D. L. Wilburn, Jr., (504) 558-0627,
0576, or 0552.