USS San Diego Open For Tours, With Strict Security
The amphibious transport dock USS San Diego is scheduled to open for three days of public tours at Navy Pier today.
The tours come in advance of the 684-foot-long ship's commissioning, which is scheduled for Saturday, according to the Naval Surface Force public affairs office.
The tours will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. today through Thursday, and strict security rules will be in place. Anyone 18 and older will be asked to show federal or state photo identification, and minors must be accompanied by an adult with valid ID.
The USS San Diego, which is expected to carry a crew of about 360 sailors, was designed to transport and land a fully equipped Marine battalion of 700 officers and enlisted personnel for various missions. Its armament includes two cannons and two missile launchers, and its deck has room for four helicopters or two tilt-rotor aircraft.
The ship pulled into its new home port in its namesake city last month, three weeks after it left a shipyard in Mississippi. During those three weeks, the ship made port calls at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia, before transiting the Panama Canal and turning north toward San Diego.
Once it is commissioned, the USS San Diego is expected to begin sea trials to test its systems and complete certifications. The ship is the fourth named for San Diego but the first with the name to actually be homeported here.