The Navy will commission the newest San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship Green Bay during a 10 a.m. PSTceremony on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, in Long Beach, Calif.
The ship is named Green Bay to honor the nation's Midwest "city by the bay." The city of about 100,000 residents was founded in 1634 by French explorer Jean Nicolet, and is the oldest community in Wisconsin.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Rose Magnus, wife of the former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Magnus (ret.), is serving as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
Designated as LPD 20, Green Bay is the fourth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. As a critical element in future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support the Marine Corps’ “mobility triad,” which consists of the landing craft air cushion (LCAC), the expeditionary fighting vehicle (EFV) and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). The ship will provide improved warfighting capabilities including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features.
Cmdr. Joseph Olson, a native of Madison, Wis., will be the first commanding officer of the ship. Olson graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1991 and received his commission from the Naval Reserve Office Training Corps. He will lead a crew of approximately 360 officers and enlisted personnel and three Marines. Upon commissioning, the ship will be homeported in San Diego.
Built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Avondale Operations in Louisiana, Green Bay is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, a navigational draft of 23 feet, displaces about 24,900 tons and is capable of embarking a landing force of about 800 Marines. Four turbo-charged diesel engines power the ship to sustained speeds of 24 knots.