USS AMERICA LHA 6
The America (LHA 6) is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships, and the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear this name. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, she is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and Joint Strike Fighter (F-35B). The LHA 6 have the same gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution system, and electric auxiliary system as USS Makin Island (LHD 8). Instead of using main propulsion engines to power the ship's shaft, the APS uses two induction-type auxiliary propulsion motors powered from the ship's electrical grid. Although the America is built without a well deck, the ship includes additional aviation spaces and have an increased aviation capacity: enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.
July 17, 2009 The keel authentication ceremony for the America was held at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. The construction of the ship began in Dec. 2008.
June 4, 2012 The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) America was launched from the floating dry-dock at Ingalls shipyard and moved "dead-stick" to a pierside location (moored port side). Weighing more than 29,000 tons in its current state, LHA 6 became one of the largest objects moved across land when it was transferred to the dry-dock two weeks ago.
October 20, PCU America (LHA 6) was christened during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss. Mrs. Lynne Pace, the wife of retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as sponsor of the ship. Capt. Robert A. Hall, Jr., is the prospective commanding officer.
November 5, 2013 The America departed Pascagoula shipyard for the first time for a four-day underway to conduct Builder's (Alpha) sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Underway for acceptance trials with the INSURV from Jan. 29-31, 2014.
March 17, The Pre-Commissioning Unit America entered the floating dry-dock Alabama at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard in Mobile, Ala., for some exterior work; Undocked on April 6.
April 10, Huntington Ingalls Industries delivered the LHA 6 to the U.S. Navy during a short ceremony on board the ship at Berth 1, Ingalls West Bank Yard East Wharf in Pascagoula, Miss.
July 11, PCU America, with embarked 300 Marines from Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) South, four MV-22B Ospreys from VMX-22 and three MH-60S Knighthawks from HSC-21, departed Pascagoula for the last time.
July 17, The amphibious assault ship anchored off Cartagena, Colombia, for a two-day port visit.
July 21, LHA 6 moored at Wharf B on Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for a brief port call.
August 5, The America moored at Maua Wharf in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a four-day port visit; Transited the Strait of Magellan on Aug. 20.
August 24, PCU America moored at Berth 4/5, South Pacific Terminal in Port of Valparaiso, Chile, for a three-day visit. Four CH-46E Sea Knights, assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 364, landed today aboard the America, for a transit back to San Diego, after completing their participation in the multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise Partnership of the Americas 2014.
August 27, The Pre-Commissioning Unit America participated in a bilateral exercise with the CNS Sargento Aldea (LSDH 91), CNS Capitan Prat (FFG 11) and CNS Almirante Latorre (FFG 14) after departing Valparaiso; Anchored off Callao, Peru, from Aug. 31- Sept. 3; Participated in a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with five Peruvian Navy frigates and two patrol boats on Sept. 3.
September 15, The future USS America arrived in its homeport of Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, Calif., after a two-month transit from Pascagoula, Miss. Underway for local operations on Oct. 1.
October 1, The amphibius assault ship conducted its first ever underway replenishment (UNREP), with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO 202).
October 6, LHA 6 moored at Pier 30/32 in San Francisco, Calif., for an eight-day port visit in preparation for its commissioning ceremony and to participate in annual Fleet Week celebration.
October 11, USS America was commissioned during a 10 a.m. ceremony in San Francisco, California.
October 16, The America returned to San Diego after a two-day Tiger Cruise from San Francisco; Underway for local operations from Dec. 12-14.
January 23, 2015 USS America moored at Pier 13, Naval Base San Diego after an 11-day underway in preparation for final contract trials; Underway for local operations from Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 9-13; Underway for Aviation Certification (AVCERT) on Feb. 18.
February 22, LHA 6 conducted its first flight deck operations with the AV-8B Harrier, assigned to the "Tomcats" of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 311, while the ship was underway in the SOCAL Op. Area.
February 26, The amphibious assault ship moored at Bravo Pier, Naval Air Station North Island for a brief stop to onload ammunition before return home; Underway for local operations from March 4-7; Underway for Combat Systems Ships Qualification Trials (CSSQT) at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) sea test range off Point Mugu, Calif., from March 9-13.
March 23, USS America departed Pier 13, Naval Base San Diego for a three-day underway to conduct pre-inspection checks off the coast of southern California; Underway for Final Contract Trials (FCT) with the INSURV from April 1-2.
April 23, General Dynamics, National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) was awarded a $31,8 million modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-13-C-4404) for the LHA 6 Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). Work is expected to be completed by November.
May 1, USS America moored at Bravo Pier, NAS North Island for a brief stop to offload ammo after an 11-day underway for CSSQT Phase 2A and deck landing qualifications.
May 7, Capt. Michael W. Baze relieved Capt. Robert A. Hall, Jr., as CO of the America during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at Pier 13.
May 12, LHA 6 recently moored at Deperming Pier on Naval Base Point Loma for magnetic treatment (DEPERM); Underway for degaussing run on May 22; Moored at Berth 5, Pier 13 on Friday afternoon.
May 26, USS America commenced a 38-week Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) at Pier 13. The ship will receive 13 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) alterations in order to modify it for the USMC variant of the aircraft, becoming the first West Coast platform for F-35B Lightning II.
March 11, 2016 Capt. Homer R. Denius, III relieved Capt. Clinton A. Carroll as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (COMPHIBRON) 3 during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the America at Pier 13.
March 21, USS America departed homeport for a four-day underway to conduct sea trials following a 10-month availability; Underway for well deck certification from April 18-22; Underway again from May 9-13; Underway for flight deck certification and in support of Career Orientation Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) program from May 16-27; Underway for local operations from June 14-16.
June 21, USS America departed San Diego to participate in a biennial multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016.
June 28, Several MV-22B Ospreys, assigned to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161, recently fly off the USS America and landed at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay in support of troop mevements. They will remain at Oahu after RIMPAC and become part of the first Osprey squadron in Hawaii, VMM-268, which will be further constituted in the fall.
June 29, LHA 6 conducted deck landing qualifications with two U.S. Army's CH-47D Chinook, assigned to 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), while underway off the coast of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu.
June 30, USS America moored at Wharf K10/K11 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for a 12-day port visit; Underway for at-sea phase of RIMPAC on July 12; Inport Pearl Harbor again from Aug. 2-5; Moored at Berth 5, Pier 13 in Naval Base San Diego on Aug. 12.
August 26, Capt. Joseph R. Olson relieved Capt. Michael W. Baze as the 3rd CO of America during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship.
August 30, USS America departed Naval Base San Diego en route to San Pedro, California; Moored at Berth 91/92, World Cruise Terminal in Port of Los Angeles for a week-long visit to participate in the inaugural L.A. Fleet Week 2016.
September 10, The amphibious assault ship returned to homeport after participated in San Diego Fleet Week Sea and Air Parade; Underway for ammo onload off Camp Pendleton on Oct. 3; Brief stop at Bravo Pier, NAS North Island before returned home on Oct. 6.
October 28, USS America departed Naval Base San Diego for Developmental Test 3 (DT-3) with two F-35B Lightning II aircraft, assigned to the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, and Operational Test 2 (OT-2) with five F-35B's from the Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211.
From November 18-20, USS America conducted the Lightning Carrier Proof of Concept Demonstration as the first shipboard F-35B integration demonstration alongside other USMC Air Combat Element assets; Moored at Berth 6, Pier 13 on Nov. 21.
December 5, LHA 6 departed homeport for an eight-day underway to participate in a Missile Exercise (MISSILEX), with the USS San Diego (LPD 22) and USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and to conduct routine training off the coast of southern California; Underway again from January 10-11.
January 13, 2017 Rear Adm. Cathal S. O’Connor relieved Rear Adm. Daniel H. Fillion as Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the America at Pier 13.