The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Amphibious Transport Dock ship USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28) July 30, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Guest speakers for the event also included President of Ingalls Shipbuilding Kari Wilkinson; Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith; Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantlis; and principal speaker, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida’s 23rd District. Built by the Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Fort Lauderdale was launched March 28, 2020 and christened Aug. 21, 2021. The ship was delivered to U.S. Navy Nov. 30, 2021. The ceremony marks the official transition of the USS Fort Lauderdale into the fleet and caps a weeklong series of events celebrating the ship and its namesake city.
“To the Sailors and Marines who will serve aboard USS Fort Lauderdale, thank you and your families in advance for the service you will fulfill and sacrifices you may endure. The moment you bring this Amphibious Transport Dock to life, you will strengthen the integrated deterrence capability of our entire Joint Force,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, who spoke at the event, said.
“Finally, if there is one thing that history has shown us from the days of antiquity it is that the stakes of the competition for control of the seas are high and for our part, USS Fort Lauderdale stands ready to deliver on any day, and at any time. For we are equipped with America’s unstoppable secret weapon that our enemies will never be able to duplicate and that is the fierce, dedicated and unstoppable, men and women of the United States Navy and Marine Corps!,” said Capt. James Quaresimo, the ship’s commanding officer.
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) will be the twelfth Flight I San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy, the ship is the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Fort Lauderdale is under construction in Pascagoula, Mississippi at Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). The main design features intended to reduce the cost of Fort Lauderdale compared to the San Antonio-class on which she is based are simplified bow works, replacement of the forward and aft composite masts with steel masts, removal of structures from the boat valley, and a stern gate which is open at the top. This will make Fort Lauderdale a “transitional ship” between the current San Antonio-class design and future LX(R) vessels.
The San Antonio class is a class of amphibious transport docks, also called a “landing platform, dock” (LPD), used by the U.S. Navy. These warships replace the Austin-class LPDs (including Cleveland and Trenton sub-classes), as well as the Newport-class tank landing ships, and the Charleston-class amphibious cargo ships. Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare mission. LPDs are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment, and supplies by embarked Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft (MV 22). These ships support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions and serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious operations.