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USNS Montford Point Leads New Class Of Navy Ships

A variety of systems tests by its builder have been completed on the USNS Montford Point -- a first-of-its-kind logistics ship named for black recruits whose service in World War II led to the desegregation of the U.S Marine Corps, Navy officials said today.

U.S. Navy

USNS Montford Point

The mobile landing platform ship described by the Navy as a "pier at sea,'' is named for Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville, N.C., where about 20,000 black Marine Corps recruits trained from 1942 to 1949. The Marines recently received the Medal of Honor as a group.

The ship completed its builder's sea trials in San Diego on Wednesday, Navy officials reported. The vessel's propulsion, ballasting, communications, navigation and mission systems and related support systems were tested.

"This first-of-class ship performed very well during the builder's trials, a testament to the preparation of the Navy-industry team in designing and building this transformational platform,'' Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, said. "The ship performed well, and pending additional trials and delivery later this year, MPL 1 will help transition the Navy toward increased modularity and operational flexibility in its ships.''

General Dynamics-NASSCO plans to conduct corrective actions to prepare for another round of trials to be conducted by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey next month.

Navy officials described the mobile landing platform as a highly flexible platform that will provide capacity for large-scale logistics movements, such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. It's expected to significantly reduce dependency on foreign ports and provide support in the absence of any port.

The Montford Point is expected to be delivered to the Navy in fiscal year 2013 and become operational in fiscal year 2015, Navy officials said.

General Dynamics-NASSCO is under contract to build two more mobile landing platform ships. They will be named after decorated Marine Corps veteran- turned-astronaut-turned-U.S. Sen. John Glenn and Lewis B. "Chesty'' Puller, also a decorated Marine Corps veteran, according to Naval Today.

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