The Department of the Navy’s three Mobile Landing Platform ships will be named the USNS Montford Point, the USNS John Glenn and the USNS Lewis B. Puller, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today.
“I chose to name the department’s new MLPs Montford Point, John Glenn and Lewis B. Puller as a way to recognize these American pioneers and heroes both collectively and individually,” said Mabus. “The courage shown by these Marines helped forge the Corps into the most formidable expeditionary force in the world.”
The USNS Montford Point honors the approximately 20,000 African American Marine Corps recruits who trained at the North Carolina facility from 1942-1949. Their exceptional service prompted President Truman to sign an executive order in 1948 ending segregation in the U.S. military services. These 20,000 Marines were recently recognized with our nation’s highest civilian honor for distinguished achievement, the Congressional Gold Medal.
The USNS Montford Point will be the first-of-class ship. It is expected to deliver in fiscal 2013 and be operational in fiscal 2015.
The second MLP, the USNS John Glenn, honors Col. John Glenn, a decorated Marine Corps pilot, distinguished astronaut, Congressional Space Medal of Honor recipient and U.S. Senator. During his time with the Marine Corps, Glenn flew 59 combat missions during World War II and a combined 90 missions over the course of two tours in the Korean War.
The final auxiliary support ship, the USNS Lewis B. Puller, is named in honor of Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated Marine in history and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses.
The MLP is a flexible platform that will provide capability for large-scale logistics movements such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. It will significantly reduce dependency on foreign ports and provide support in the absence of any port, making it especially useful during disaster response and for supporting Marines once they are ashore.
The MLP in its basic form possesses a core capability set that supports a vehicle staging area, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three landing craft air cushioned vessel (LCAC) lanes.
The three ships will be constructed by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego, Calif.
Interested media may contact Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs at 703-697-7491.