USS WASP (LHD-1) is the lead ship of an all-new
class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships built by the Ingalls
Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Navy-Marine
Corps team's newest amphibious warship has as its primary mission the support
of a Marine Landing Force. USS WASP and her sister ships are the first
specifically designed to accommodate new Landing Craft, Air Cushion for fast
troop movement over the beach and AV-8B Harrier II Vertical/Short Take-Off
and Landing (VSTOL) jets which provide close-in air support for the assault
force. LHD-1, which is 844 feet long with a beam of 106 feet, also
accommodates the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters,
conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.
To carry out its primary mission, USS WASP has an assault support system that
synchronizes the simultaneous horizontal and vertical flow of troops, cargo
and vehicles throughout the ship. Two aircraft elevators service the hangar
bay and flight deck. Six cargo elevators, each 12 by 25 feet, are used to transport
material and supplies from the 100,000 cubic foot cargo holds throughout the
ship to staging areas on the flight deck, hangar bay and vehicle storage
area. Cargo is transferred to waiting landing craft docked within the ship's
13,000 square foot, 266 foot long, well deck. Helicopters in the hangar bay
or on the flight deck are cargo-loaded by forklift.
LHD-1 has medical and dental facilities capable of providing intensive
medical assistance to 600 casualties, whether combat incurred or brought
aboard ship during humanitarian missions. The corpsmen also provide routine
medical/dental care to the crew and embarked personnel. Major medical
facilities include four main and two emergency operating rooms, four dental
operating rooms, x-ray rooms, a blood bank, laboratories, and patient wards.
In addition, three battle dressing stations are located throughout the ship,
as well as a casualty collecting area at the flight deck level. Medical
elevators rapidly transfer casualties from the flight deck and hangar bay to
the medical facilities.
For the comfort of the 1,075 crewmembers and 1,600 embarked troops, all
manned spaces and berthing areas are individually heated and air conditioned.
Crew and troop berthing are on the same deck level, with galleys and mess
facilities nearby. Berthing areas are subdivided to provide semi-private
spaces without adversely affecting efficiency. Deck and wall coverings are
decorative but also serviceable and easy to maintain. Messing areas
facilitate rapid feeding in a restaurant atmosphere. Onboard recreational
facilities include a state-of-the-art Library Multi-Media Resource Center
with Internet access, a weight room, arcade machines and satellite television
USS WASP's two steam propulsion plants - the largest currently in operation
in the U.S. Navy - generate a total of 400 tons of steam per hour. The
propulsion system develops 70,000 shaft horsepower, powering the ship to
speeds in excess of 22 knots. USS Wasp was built using more than 21,000 tons
of steel, 400 tons of aluminum, 400 miles of electrical/electronic cables, 80
miles of piping and tubing of various types and sizes, and 10 miles of
ventilation ducting. WASP weighed more than 27,000 tons when moved onto the
Ingalls floating dry-dock on July 30, 1987 for launch on August 4, 1987,
becoming the largest man-made object rolled across land.
USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD 8) will be the last LHD built in the WASP class but
will be the only one powered by LM 2500+ Gas Turbine Engines and Electric
Drive. Additionally, MAKIN ISLAND is the only LHD to feature an all electric
design - no steam is used onboard MAKIN ISLAND. As the final member of the
WASP class LHD's, MAKIN ISLAND is transforming the U.S. Navy Amphibious
Forces and setting the stage for the under-development successor to the Wasp
class, the LHA(R) class of Amphibious Landing Ships (see America
Wasp is composed
of many Departments. The following are brief outlines of each
department and their responsibilities
The mission of the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department is to provide
intermediate level maintenance, inspect, test, check, calibrate, lubricate
and provide component repair to aircraft and support equipment, enhancing the
effectiveness of embarked surface and aviation units. AIMD has the
capability to test, repair, service and manufacture a large variety of
aircraft and non-aircraft components. The level of this capability
ranges from the small, delicate work performed by micro miniature repair
technician to complex work performed by jet engine mechanics. In short,
AIMDs four divisions are committed to unparalleled support, ensuring Wasp
lives up to its reputation as the world's greatest warship.
The Air Department is responsible for the execution of flight operations that
support Wasp's primary mission of landing elements of a Marine landing force
in amphibious assault operations and is comprised mostly of Aviation
Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handler) personnel.
Combat Cargo is responsible for the preparation of operation orders, plans,
directives, and correspondence in matters pertaining to the embarkation,
loading, stowage, unloading, and debarkation of personnel, supplies,
equipment and LFORM/cargo from ships under the control of the strike group
The Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Combat and Information
department is responsible for the operation and maintenance of command,
control and communications systems, sensors, weapons and ship systems in
support of amphibious and sea control missions. In essence, the C5I
Department is responsible for ensuring the ship can fight and defend itself
when called upon to do so.
The mission of the Chaplain Department is to provide and facilitate worship
services, bible studies and religious education for Sailors of all faith
groups. The Department also provides pastoral counseling to Sailors,
visits Sailors in the workspaces throughout the ship and operates the library
and multimedia resource center for Sailors and Marines.
Hard working, dedicated, motivated. The department is divided into
three divisions and is led by the First Lieutenant and the Ship’s
Bos’n. Deck always takes pride in its work. Major evolutions include
manning stations during underway replenishment and connected replenishment,
well-deck operations featuring Landing Craft Air Cushions, Landing Craft
Units, small boat operations as well as playing an important role in mooring
and anchoring the ship. Deck Department personnel report to quarters
every morning knowing that “it’s a great day to be in deck.”
The Dental Department provides primary dental care and emergency capabilities
to the ships crew and embarked troops. Consisting of three treatment rooms,
LHD-1 has the most extensive dental support capability of any combatant in
The Engineering Department is composed of the Damage Controlmen,
Electrician's Mates, Engineman, Hull Maintenance Technicians, Machinery
Repairmen and Machinist Mates. Engineering is responsible for the ship's
propulsion plant as well as providing water for the crew and embarked
Marines. Engineering also produces all the ship's electricity, maintains and
operates the air conditioning and refrigeration plants, and maintains the
ship's laundry facilities and galley equipment. Engineering is also
responsible for firefighting and damage control efforts on board Wasp.
The Executive Department is responsible for providing administrative support,
legal assistance, security, personnel and career counseling services.
With six operating rooms, state-of-the-art digital X-ray capabilities, fully
functional laboratory, blood bank, 14-bed intensive care unit, 46-bed patient
care ward, four battle dressing stations and the best trained medical staff
in the fleet, the Medical Department is ready to support any mission Wasp
undertakes. Medical maintains a high level of readiness through
continual training of medical personnel in their respective areas of
expertise, and the training of ship’s company in basic first aid and
life-saving techniques. LHD-1 has the most extensive medical support
capability of any combatant in the world.
Quartermasters are responsible for safely navigating the ship. They are
involved in all aspects of voyage planning and advise the commodore, his
staff, and the commanding officer in matters relating from open ocean
transits to harbor piloting. The Quartermaster of the Watch
stands watch on the bridge and meticulously ascertains the ship’s position
using Global Positioning System, radar, celestial, and visual navigation
aids. They are the primary assistant to the Officer of the Deck on all
matters related to safely navigating the ship.
Operations Department is the purpose of Wasp. Any mission that Wasp
undertakes is organized and planned out by the Operations Department.
Air Traffic Control, Combat Information Center, Joint Intelligence Center,
Cryptological Information and Meteorology as well as Public Affairs,
shipboard television programming and photographic and print shop services are
all part of each and every mission performed by Wasp and provided by the Operations
The Safety Department is dedicated to the premise that although Sailors
operate in an inherently dangerous environment, they can eliminate or reduce
the hazards associated with their work by following established guidelines and
safety precautions and ensuring all hands are properly trained. Safety
also coordinates interdepartmental safety education, training and General
Military Training through the Shipboard Information Training and
The mission of Supply Department is to provide the ship with the tools and
parts necessary to complete any mission. This equipment includes food,
fuel, office supplies, repair equipment and many other necessities.
Supply Department is the 'oil' that keeps the 'gears' turning on board Wasp.
The Training Department strives to enable Sailors to properly manage,
coordinate and monitor professional and personal training in order to
increase the overall readiness of Wasp. This is accomplished by
ensuring all schools, Personnel Qualification Standard, GMT and command
indoctrination requirements are scheduled, completed and documented.
Additionally, Training provides counseling and sound advice to assist Sailors
in earning or working toward a college degree while ashore or deployed
through the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education and the use of
a video teletraining system.