Amphibious Transport Dock

LPD 17  -  USS San Antonio

 

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio crest insignia patch badge amphibious transport dock us navy

lpd 17 uss san antonio class amphibious transport dock landing ship us navy huntington ingalls avondale new orleans

Type, Class:

 

Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD); San Antonio-class;

planned and built as LPD-17

Builder:

 

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Avondale Division, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

now a part of Huntington Ingalls Industries

STATUS:

 

Awarded: April 8, 1997

Laid down: December 9, 2000

Launched: July 12, 2003

Commissioned: January 14, 2006

ACTIVE UNIT (Atlantic Fleet)

Homeport:

 

Naval Base Norfolk, Virginia

Namesake:

 

named after and in honor of the City of San Antonio, Texas

Ship's Motto:

 

NEVER RETREAT, NEVER SURRENDER

Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)

 

see: INFO > San Antonio - class Amphibious Transport Dock

 

ship images

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio norfolk virginia

Norfolk, Virginia - November 2013

 

Norfolk, Virginia - November 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio well deck gulf of aden 2013

Gulf of Aden - August 2013

 

Gulf of Aden - July 2013

 

uss san antonio lpd-17 flight deck ch-53

Gulf of Aden - July 2013

 

Red Sea - June 2013

 

Red Sea - June 2013

 

5th Fleet AOR - May 2013

 

Red Sea - June 2013

 

Arabian Gulf - April 2013

 

with USS Ponce (AFSBI-15) - Arabian Gulf - April 2013

 

Arabian Gulf - April 2013

 

Atlantic Ocean - March 2013

 

Atlantic Ocean - March 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio uss carter hall lsd 50

USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) - Atlantic Ocean - March 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio class amphibious transport dock 2013

Atlantic Ocean - March 2013

 

uss san antonio lpd 17 flight deck operations

Atlantic Ocean - February 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio

Atlantic Ocean - February 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio lsd50 uss carter hall atlantic ocean 2013

USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) - Atlantic Ocean - February 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio

Atlantic Ocean - February 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio lsd 50 uss carter hall

USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) - Atlantic Ocean - February 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio

Atlantic Ocean - February 2013

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio

Norfolk, Virginia - October 2012

 

uss san antonio lpd 17 norfolk virginia

Norfolk, Virginia - October 2012

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio

Norfolk, Virginia - October 2012

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio baltimore maryland

Baltimore, Maryland - June 2012

 

lpd 17 uss san antonio

Baltimore, Maryland - June 2012

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio class amphibious transport dock landing ship us navy atlantic ocean 2012 stern gate

Atlantic Ocean - February 2012

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio well deck operations LCAC-53

LCAC-53 approaches the well deck - Atlantic Ocean - February 2012

 

USS San Antonio LPD-17 Norfolk Virginia 2012

Norfolk, Virginia - January 2012

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio

Norfolk, Virginia - January 2012

 

USS San Antonio LPD-17 amphibious transport dock landing ship

Norfolk, Virginia - January 2012

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio 2012

Norfolk, Virginia - January 2012

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio well deck operations with LCU-1654

well-deck operations with LCU-1654 - Atlantic Ocean - January 2012

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio

Norfolk, Virginia - June 2011

 

USS San Antonio LPD-17 and USS New York LPD-21

USS San Antonio (LPD-17) and USS New York (LPD-21) - Atlantic Ocean - June 2011

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio and LPD-21 USS New York Atlantic Ocean 2011

USS San Antonio (LPD-17) and USS New York (LPD-21) - Atlantic Ocean - June 2011

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio Norfolk Virginia homeport

Norfolk, Virginia - June 2011

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 Kuwait Naval Base 2009

Kuwait Naval Base - February 2009

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Gulf of Oman 2009

Gulf of Oman - February 2009

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 Gulf of Oman 2009

Gulf of Oman - February 2009

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Gulf of Aden 2009

Gulf of Aden - January 2009

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Gulf of Aden 2009

Gulf of Aden - January 2009

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 Gulf of Aden 2009

Gulf of Aden - January 2009

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Gulf of Aden 2009

Gulf of Aden - January 2009

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Gulf of Aden 2009

Gulf of Aden - January 2009

 

USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) - Persian Gulf 2008

USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) - Persian Gulf - December 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Indian Ocean 2008

Indian Ocean - October 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Suez Canal, Egypt 2008

Suez Canal, Egypt - September 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Mediterranean Sea 2008

Mediterranean Sea - September 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Atlantic Ocean 2008

Atlantic Ocean - September 2008

 

USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) - Atlantic Ocean 2008

USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) - Atlantic Ocean - September 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Atlantic Ocean 2008

Atlantic Ocean - September 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Atlantic Ocean 2008

Atlantic Ocean - September 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Atlantic Ocean 2008

Atlantic Ocean - September 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - flight deck operations - Atlantic Ocean 2008

flight operations - Atlantic Ocean - March 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - well deck operations AAV - Atlantic Ocean 2008

well deck operations - Atlantic Ocean - March 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - well deck operations - Atlantic Ocean 2008

well deck operations - Atlantic Ocean - March 2008

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Landing Craft Air-Cushioned (LCAC) operations

a Landing Craft Air-Cushioned returns to the well-deck of USS San Antonio (LPD 17) - March 2008

 

A CH-46 Sea Knight and a V-22 Osprey aboard USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Atlantic Ocean 2006

A CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter completes a landing near a V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft aboard USS San Antonio (LPD 17) - Atlantic Ocean - June 2006

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - New York Harbor 2006

New York Harbor - May 2006

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Port Everglades, Florida 2006

Port Everglades, Florida - May 2006

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Norfolk, Virginia 2005

Norfolk, Virginia - December 2005

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Norfolk, Virginia 2005

Norfolk, Virginia - December 2005

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - Atlantic Ocean 2005

Atlantic Ocean - December 2005

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) Avondale, New Orleans, Louisiana 2003

under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Avondale (now Huntington Ingalls Industries), New Orleans, Louisiana - February 13, 2003

 

USS San Antonio LPD 17 - under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) Avondale, New Orleans, Louisiana 2002

under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Avondale (now Huntington Ingalls Industries), New Orleans, Louisiana - August 2002

 

LPD-17 USS San Antonio construction Huntington Ingalls Industries

under construction

 

 

Namesake & History:

The City of San Antonio, Texas:

 

Once a small settlement founded by Spanish missionaries in the early 1700s, San Antonio has grown into one of the country's major metropolitan centers. Its historical roots are the foundation for a city that today is rapidly moving forward into the 21st Century. San Antonio's historical charm and grace are preserved in the Alamo and its other Spanish missions, in its historic neighborhoods and in the world famous River Walk.

San Antonio, with a population of more than 1.3 million, is the seventh largest city in the United States. Over the past decade, the city's population has grown at an annual average of two percent and is expected to continue at that rate. Geographically, San Antonio covers 430 square miles and is located in Bexar County in South Central Texas. The city is close to the state capital in Austin and an afternoon drive from Dallas, Houston or the Gulf of Mexico.

 

San Antonio was just a small village in Mexico's northern province of Texas when it became the site of a crucial battle in the struggle for Texas' independence. In 1836, the heroic defense of the city's old mission, referred to as the Alamo, became a rallying point for that struggle. The beleaguered defenders of the Alamo delayed Mexican dictator Santa Anna's forces long enough for Sam Houston to train and rally his troops. This delaying action paved the way for the Texan's eventual victory over Santa Anna's men at San Jacinto, which assured their successful fight for Texas independence from Mexico. Today San Antonio is one of America's unique cities with its rich blend of Hispanic and Anglo cultures.

 

USS San Antonio (LPD 17):

 

2007


The year of 2007 has taken SAN ANTONIO through some remarkable accomplishments and has seen her progress through a shipyard asset to a national asset.  Having spent only 58 days underway, SAN ANTONIO put the time pier side to good use.  Most notably, SAN ANTONIO successfully passed the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) material inspection and is now fully capable and ready for any tasking.

In March, the ship travelled south to its first foreign port visit in Nassau, Bahamas.  The crew was given a few days of liberty and relaxation in between running the underwater acoustic silencing range.

When they returned from the Bahamas, one week stood between them and INSURV Final Contract Trials that began on 26 MAR.   Despite the crew's efforts and hard work, the ship could not get underway after a major failure to steering control circuitry.

On 2 APR, SAN ANTONIO entered the British Aerospace Engineering dry dock in Portsmouth.  Armed with the INSURV generated list of material discrepancies, the ship began a Post-Shakedown Availability.  Ship's crew and shipyard workers alike began tackling the lengthy list of trial cards.  Major jobs included compartment completion, new non-skid on the ship's forecastle, boat valley, and flight deck, and several upgrades to the ship's area network.

On 1 JUN, SAN ANTONIO became a member of Amphibious Squardron Four instead of Amphibious Squadron Six in order to accommodate necessary deployment schedules between SAN ANTONIO and NASHVILLE.

As the first of the class, the ship went through an Inclining Experiment on 30 JUN that required the ship to purposefully list to test mathematical calculations of pitch, roll, center of gravity, and center of buoyancy.

The tests went well and with the Post-Shakedown Availability coming to a close, the crew held a fast cruise for two days before getting underway on 12 JUL for sea trials.  During the 5 days underway, ship's force accomplished quite a handful of activities to include SSDS testing, ULM-4 range, SESEF range, TACAN testing, SWAN testing, and small boat operations.

The prospective Commanding Officer, CDR Kurt A. Kastner, arrived onboard 15 JUL, and officially relieved CDR Brad Lee as SAN ANTONIO on 20JUL in a ceremony held on the ship's new flight deck.

On 23 JUL, the ship entered a CMAV that would extend nearly a month through 20 AUG.  Air Department obtained their aviation certification during this time which marked SAN ANTONIO's first certification in a line of many required for a 2008 deployment.

On 20 AUG, the ship got underway for a few short days of Deck Landing Qualifications (DLQs).  The crew managed to squeeze in an Underway Replenishment (UNREP) and also another range run on the SESEF buoy for increment E testing.

The following week, beginning on 28 AUG, SAN ANTONIO was underway again for the VACAPES to provide host services for Second Fleet Special Operations Command (SOCOM) testing missions.

Next stop on the list for the ship was the deperming crib on 4 SEP.  Initial testing was done and readings were taken so that on 5 SEP the ship was able to switch from a Southern heading to a Northern heading.  The ship's crew worked exceptionally hard to wrap the entire ship in magnetic cables that would eventually send impulses of current through the outside of the ship in an effort to reduce our magnetic signature.  The readings taken at the crib were very promising, but the real test came on 11 SEP during the ship's day of magnetic silencing range (degaussing) runs in the Norfolk harbor channel.  Indeed, the ship's magnetic signature is remarkably low for a warship of it's weight and size.

On 17 SEP, SAN ANTONIO was called upon to provide more services for SOCOM testing missions and conducted an UNREP as well.  On 21 SEP, SAN ANTONIO returned to port and Commander Amphibious Squadron Four embarked.

Several things happened on 24 SEP.  The ship began another CMAV to concentrate mainly on SWAN troubles, underwater hull cleaning started, a week of Shipboard Training Team trainers from Afloat Training Group kicked off, and the Supply Department began their certification inspection.

The 1st and 2nd of OCT gained another certification for SAN ANTONIO, this time in radar navigation.  At the end of October, the ship got underway to test steering, run yet another ULM-4 range, and conduct 30mm testing.

Force Protection Initial Assessment started on the first day of November, but SAN ANTONIO did not perform as well as anticipated.  For ULTRA-E though, following only 4 days later, the engineers thoroughly impressed the inspectors with their knowledge and skill.

SAN ANTONIO got underway on 13 NOV for a long awaited missile firing exercise.  The ship steamed North just off of Wallops Island, VA and conducted live firing exercises of the Rolling Airframe Missile System.

After returning and having a preparation week in port, SAN ANTONIO came to the first day of INSURV.  The crew had certainly prepared for this day since the last INSURV in March and they were ready.  Their enthusiasm, knowledge, and hard work shined during the week and SAN ANTONIO came away from the inspection with high scores all around.  More importantly, the crew had convinced everyone that they were ready to take this ship to sea for prolonged amounts of time.  Effectively, the crew turned the ship into a national asset ready for and capable of any tasking assigned.

7 DEC was a monumental day for SAN ANTONIO when VADM Chanik, Commander, Second Fleet, toured the ship and joined dozens of waterfront Commanding Officers for "Commander Naval Surface Force  Leadership Forum" being hosted aboard by Rear Admiral Curtis.

After a few weeks in port and a delightful children's Christmas party on 8 DEC, the ship was back at sea on 10-11 DEC for DLQs.  Although the DLQs were ultimately cancelled, the ship was able to conduct an UNREP one last time before the end of 2007.  Upon returning to port, the ship entered another CMAV and the week of 10 DEC concluded with the command Christmas party on the evening of the 13th and then the ship's holiday stand down beginning on 14 DEC.


2006


As the first of the most technologically advanced amphibious warships in the world, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) set milestones from the beginning of 2006.  Spending 215 days at sea, the crew of USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) was dedicated to making it a successful year.

During her transit South to Texas for commissioning, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) landed her first Marine Corps Helicopter on 05 January (CH-46D).  That same helicopter also performed the ship's first medical evacuation.

The 14th of January is a day etched in all of the plankowners' memories.  As Texas’ Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson christened the ship as the ship’s sponsor, the crewmembers understood it was their job to breath life into USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17).

On 24 January, Commander Brad Lee relieved Commander Jonathon Padfield as Commanding Officer of USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17).

True to that sentiment, the ship was underway just days after she was commissioned to begin her transit back to her homeport of Norfolk, VA.  Once there, she entered the British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) shipyard.

On 4-12 April, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) conducted sea trials in the Virginia Capes Operating Area (VACAPES OPAREA).  This underway included many Shipboard Training Team (SBTT) drills and also involved an anchorage.   On 11 April, the first Navy helo landed (MH-60S) followed by the first tilt-rotor aircraft landing (MV-22) on 12 April.

17 April marked the beginning of a four week underway period.  The first two weeks were spent in the VACAPES OPAREA conducting various exercises.   The Officers of the Deck (OODs) were kept busy with several days of non-stop flight operations to certify the flight deck.  24 April – 5 May was Hurricane Exercise 2006, an exercise to sharpen the crew’s skills at tracking and evading tropical storms after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.  On 29 April, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) departed the VACAPES and began her transit to Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Enroute, the crew trained in Emission Control drills, NIXIE streaming, and held several familiarization fire gun shoots.  Before mooring on 1 May, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) conducted amphibious operations off the coast with Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) on 30 April.

Sailors were cordially welcomed by the townspeople of Ft. Lauderdale and were even invited, along with the other guest ships, to a National Salute to Heroes Concert at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.  The ship’s wardroom and crew hosted a party on the flight deck for local politicians and their families.  Fleet Week USA hosted several MWR sporting events that gave the sailors a chance to enjoy both camraderie and the Florida sun.  The ship's Chaplain set up community relations projects as well, including two Habitat for Humanity trips.

On 7 May, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) departed Ft. Lauderdale, spent the night at sea, and pulled into Mayport, FL on 8 May to refuel and embark midshipmen.  Underway again on 9 May, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) arrived in Norfolk on 12 May.  Two weeks inport allowed time for the propellers to be cleaned and on 23 May USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) was underway, headed for Fleet Week New York.  After mooring in Staten Island on 24 May, the sailors found themselves quite welcomed wherever they went.  Being in one of America’s largest cities for Fleet Week kept the ship busy with tours and visitors galore.  Several sailors also had the proud opportunity to re-enlist at Ground Zero with Admiral Fallon.

30 May came and USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) departed Staten Island for the VACAPES OPAREA until 9 June to conduct Ship's Self Defense System (SSDS) testing that included a drone tracking exercise and a NIXIE stream.

The week of 11-16 June was filled with midshipmen on their Career Officer Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) summer cruise.  Given a chance to spend a week aboard the Navy’s newest amphibious warship was something the midshipmen really enjoyed.  Taking full advantage of the opportunity, they eagerly spoke with crewmembers to learn the different rates and their jobs onboard.  13-16 June was an underway period to show the midshipmen the advanced capabilities of USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17).  During the three days underway, midshipmen were exposed to an Underway Replenishment (UNREP), Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) flights, an anchorage, and several pre-action calibration weapon firings (PACFIRE).

19 June - 5 July was a scheduled three week inport Continued Maintenance Availability (CMAV) for USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) to upgrade systems.  It also gave the crew time to attend schools and training without the possibility of being underway.

After the CMAV was complete, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) went to sea from 6-21 July to test out the new products and upgraded systems.  Focusing primarily on amphibious operations, this underway period included an LCAC interface test and an amphibious lift demonstration as well.

On 23 July, more midshipmen arrived for their summer cruises and came just in time to see the Shipboard Training Team (SBTT) environment kick into full gear in preparation for USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) upcoming Unit Level Training Assessment-Composite (ULTRA-C) at the end of August.  They also got underway from 7-23 August and witnessed USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) conduct a Detect-to-Engage Sequence, a Surface Gunnery Exercise, a LINK Exercise, a Missile Exercise, and an Air Gunnery Exercise.

28 August, the beginning of ULTRA-C, was a day the crew was ready for.  Successfully accomplishing all required inport checks allowed USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) to get underway as scheduled on 30 August.  The months of training and hard work paid off when the crew moored at Naval Station Norfolk on 1 September with a passing grade.

On 8 September, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) was underway to the VACAPES OPAREA to conduct familiarization firings (FAMFIRE) of the weapons onboard for two days.  She headed North on 10 September and moored in New York in the morning of 11 September for a 9/11 commemoration.  In a city that remembers clearly the terrorist attacks of 2001, it was a memorable occasion for them to see the newest amphibious warship designed to help thwart terrorism from the sea.  Similar to her time spent in New York for its Fleet Week, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) opened its hatches to multiple distinguished visitor tours, including one for the NY Yankees and Giants.  Once again, sailors took advantage of the fact the ship was in New York to re-enlist at Ground Zero.

Although sailors enjoyed their liberty time in New York, it was back to business as soon as USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) got underway on 15 September.  Next on the list of things to do was ULTRA-E (engineering), beginning on 18 September.  Through hundreds of drills and evolutions, the engineers took USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) through the inspection successfully and kept her on schedule in the training cycle.  The engineers were happy when USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) was moored in Norfolk on 20 September.

Inport from 22 September – 9 October, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) organized MWR bowling and golfing tournaments.  Work conducted on the ship during this timeframe included the flight deck non-skid overhaul and an underwater hull cleaning.

From 17-19 October, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) was showcased in a television documentary being made for Future Weapons.  Although not scheduled to air until the Spring of 2007, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) welcomed the chance to show off the ship.

The engineers were ready and waiting for 16 October when the US Navy diesel engine inspectors embarked for a two-week diesel engine inspection.  Completing all the inport checks successfully and  on time, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) spent the week of 23 October underway to finish the diesel engine inspection with a high average grade.

On 25 October, the ship conducted its first vertical replenishment.  This inherently dangerous operation was thoroughly successful and helped ready her for a special warfare exercise.  USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD-17) participated in a multi-unit Helicopter Visit, Board, Search and Seizure exercise designed to provide training for SEAL and aviation units in preparation for deployment from 30 October to 3 November.  This first-in-class evolution incorporated numerous squadrons as well as SH-60F, HH-60H, and MH-60S helicopters to support SEAL Team TEN in day, night, and NVD operations.

USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) stationed the outbound Sea and Anchor detail on 13 November to conduct SSDS testing in the VACAPES OPAREA.  The Engineering Training Team (ETT) used the underway time to run many drills / evolutions in preparation for their planned Engineering Operational Certification (EOC).  Unfortunately, EOC was postponed to the Spring of 2007, so the ship returned to port on 21 November.

27 November - 4 December added to USS SAN ANTONIO’s (LPD 17) underway time for 2006.  During this underway, she conducted a towing exercise, MV-22 Osprey testing, and small boat attack defense training.  Having the electronic equipment evaluated at the Shipboard Electronic Systems Evaluation Facility was a major evolution during this week as well.

Off the coast of North Carolina in November, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) rescued four fishermen from their sinking boat.  Hearing the distress call from Miss Melissa, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) made best speed to her position and lowered a RHIB in the water in rough seas to rescue the fishermen and safely return them to USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17).  Given a warm meal and thorough examination by the medical officer, the sailors were very grateful to the crew who went out of their way to help fellow mariners.

11-14 December was the final 2006 underway for USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17), but certainly an important one for the ship.  Her Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) was the culmination of the training cycle and involved numerous shipboard training teams and drills.  As done throughout 2006, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) successfully passed FEP and turned their attention to the next task at hand.

After 215 days at sea serving her country, USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) and crew earned a well deserved holiday standdown.  The sailors definitely appreciated the chance to take leave and spend the holidays with their families.  However, there was still work to be done on the ship.  USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) entered a CMAV from 18 December - 5 January, one week of which included an underwater hull cleaning.

The ship’s crew worked exceptionally hard in 2006 and impressed higher chain of command personnel about the capabilities of the LPD-17 class of amphibious ships.  Taking her from the shipyards in 2005 to pre-deployment exercises in 2007, 2006 was a critical year that established the momentum necessary to carry USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) to an incredibly successful future.

 

Mission:


USS San Antonio was designated as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, the multi-national anti-piracy naval force off Somalia. The ship would serve as an afloat forward staging base (AFSB) for the following force elements:

- 14-member U.S. Navy visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team.
- 8-member U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 405.
- Scout Sniper Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26 MEU) cross-decked from the

   USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7).
- 3rd platoon of the 26 MEU 'Golf' Infantry Company, a military police detachment, and intelligence personnel.
- Fleet Surgical Team 8 with level-two surgical capability to deal with trauma, surgical, critical care and medical evacuation needs.
- Approximately 75 Marines with six AH-1W Super Cobra and two UH-1N Huey helicopters from the

   Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 (HMM-264) of the 26th MEU cross-decked from the USS Iwo Jima.
- Three HH-60H helicopters from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 3 (HS-3) cross-decked from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

During its time off Africa, the crew boarded 20 foreign vessels. The crew discovered hidden explosives on one of the vessels. The ship returned to Norfolk on 27 March 2009.


Problems and incidents:

Nearly three years after commissioning, problems persist with this first-in-class vessel. On 27 January 2006, a contract worth over $6 million was awarded to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, for the Post-Shakedown Availability of USS San Antonio. Work was expected to be completed by April 2007. On 22 June 2007, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter sent a letter to Northrop Grumman outlining problems with the ship, from leaks to steerage issues, stating, "Twenty-three months after commissioning of LPD 17, the Navy still does not have a mission-capable ship.

On 27 August 2008, San Antonio was unable to deploy as scheduled with the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), due to a mechanical failure in the stern gate of her well deck, which would prevent proper loading and deployment of landing craft. The problem was fixed and San Antonio deployed two days late, on 29 August 2008.

Two months into her maiden deployment, San Antonio had been forced to undergo an unplanned maintenance stop in Bahrain due to leaks in its lube oil piping system. During inspections in summer 2009 it was found that over 1,000 feet of piping had to be replaced.

In late November the ship's four diesel engines were out of commission and needed to be re-inspected after metal shavings were found in the engine's main reduction gears from when the shipyard workers at the shipbuilder, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems had improperly welded the piping.

During a February 2009 transit of the Suez Canal, with both engines at full power, one engine suddenly went into reverse, sending the vessel careening out of control and narrowly missing hitting other ships and running aground.

In response to these problems the Navy finally got approval to hire sufficient Supervisor of Shipbuilding officers in 2009.

In October 2010, the Department of Defense released a report outlining numerous engineering flaws in the San Antonio. A top aide in the Department of Defense was quoted as saying that Northrop Grumman's ships are "not effective, suitable and not survivable in combat". The report also blamed Raytheon Co., a subcontractor providing fiber optics, electrical and anti-missile systems for the San Antonio, for "persistent engineering deficiencies."

During an anti-piracy mission in February 2009, one of the ship's crew, Petty Officer 1st Class Theophilus K. Ansong, 34, of Bristol, Virginia, was killed in a small boat accident in the Gulf of Aden. The ship's captain, Commander Eric C. Cash, was reprimanded over the incident at an admiral's mast by Admiral J.C. Harvey Jr., the commander of Fleet Forces Command. Another officer, Lieutenant Commander Sean Kearns, the ship's executive officer refused a mast over the same incident and was court-martialed in October and November 2010. During the trial, his defense team presented evidence of the ship's numerous deficiencies and lack of written procedures as contributing to the accident. Kearns was acquitted of the charges on 5 November 2010. Kearns stated that the ship's officers had been pressured by the Navy to declare the ship ready to deploy even though they knew that it still had significant, unresolved problems.

In April 2011- after nearly two years of constant repair work at various shipyards in Norfolk, VA- the Navy started an investigation into the constant mechanical and engineering issues with San Antonio. The Executive Director of the Regional Maintenance Activity (RMC), Thomas J. Murphy, managing the work was relieved and transferred, as were the senior Waterfront Operations personnel. The Navy said that two contractors, Earl Industries, the prime contractor, and Fairbanks Morse, the engine manufacturer, were unwilling or unable to provide complete documentation into what was fixed on the ship and how. As a result the Navy suspended Norfolk Ship Support Activity's oversight authority. On 6 May 2011, the Navy canceled its maintenance contract with Earl Industries, citing, "improper work performed and concern regarding Earl Industries' quality assurance program and the company's ability to control the quality and documentation of work it performs."

On 26 May 2011, after 10 days of sea trials, the ship's skipper, Commander Thomas Kait, declared the ship's power plants fit for duty. The ship completed the trials on 15 June 2011 and was scheduled for a short training deployment from July to August 2011. In July 2011 the U.S.S. San Antonio's Diesel Engine's intercoolers were found to be mechanically deficient after the ship failed to gain full power causing the ship to return to be repaired. The repairs also found deficiencies in work performed by Earl Industries. The repairs were completed on 3 August 2011.

As of August 2011, the Navy now says that all problems with the ship's engines have been corrected including "foreign material exclusion plugs left in the drain piping system, use of incorrect material and improper installation and sealing of gaskets".

 

source: wikipedia

 

patches

 

 USS San Antonio LPD 17 patch crest insigniaUSS San Antonio LPD 17 patch crest insignia

 

 

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