Navy Christens USNS Montford Point At General Dynamics NASSCO Shipyard

 

April 2013

 

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The Seafarers-contracted USNS Montford Point, the Navy’s first mobile landing platform (MLP) ship, was christened in San Diego March 2.

 

Scheduled for delivery in mid-May, the Montford Point was built by union members at General Dynamics NASSCO, and will be operated by Ocean Ships, Inc. It’s the first in a three-ship order and is scheduled for mobilization as part of the Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) prepositioning fleet.

The Montford Point, which is 784 feet long, is named in honor of the 20,000 African American Marine Corps recruits who trained at Camp Montford Point, N.C., from 1942 to 1949.

 

Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, gave the keynote address at the christening. MSC Commander Rear Adm. Mark Buzby also was a featured speaker as more than 1,000 attendees – including more than 30 original Montford Point Marines – gathered at the shipyard. SIU Vice President Gulf Coast Dean Corgey represented the union; others attending included U.S. Reps. Susan Davis, Juan Vargas and Scott Peters (each a California Democrat).

 

Jackie Bolden, the wife of NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (a retired Marine major general), christened the vessel.

 

“Today we recognize the legacy of the Montford Point Marines with another pioneering effort,” said Amos. “[This ship] represents a leap ahead in our nation’s ability to project power across the world’s oceans. As an inter-operable pier in the sea, the [mobile landing platform] will significantly reduce our requirement for foreign ports in which to offload our equipment.”

 

“This ship, with its unique capabilities, will become the centerpiece of seabasing, allowing the U.S. Navy to raise forward operations to a new level,” said Buzby. “Wherever the call, whatever the need, USNS Montford Point will be part of the Navy’s global force for good.” He added that the crew’s “determination will stand this ship and its mission in good stead as they sail anywhere on the globe that the mission sends them.”

 

The other MLP vessels are the USNS John Glenn and the USNS Lewis B. Puller. They’re scheduled for delivery in early 2014 and early 2015, respectively.

 

Including options, the Ocean Ships operating contract is for five years.

 

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