There is a prevalent belief that the name America, above all others, should always be represented on a U.S. Navy ship. From the American Revolution through the first Gulf War, three warships have sailed with the name America. The first America was a 74-gun ship-of-the-line built for use by the Continental Navy and then presented to the king of France as a gift to show appreciation for his country's service to the new nation. The second America transported troops during World War I. The third ship to bear the name was a Kitty-Hawk class aircraft carrier that supported operations from the Vietnam War through Operation Desert Storm. USS America is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the country she was built to protect.
The USS America (LHA 6) is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tawara class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, LHA 6 is optimized for aviation support of U.S. Marine based amphibious operations, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and Joint Strike Fighter. The USS America uses a gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution system, and electric auxiliary system. This unique auxiliary propulsion system is designed for fuel efficiency.
LHA 6 provides a flexible, multi-mission platform with capabilities that span the range of military operations -- from forward deployed crisis response to forcible entry operations. The ship also provides forward presence and power projection as an integral part of joint, interagency and multinational maritime expeditionary forces. The America is designed to operate for sustained periods in transit to, and operations, in an amphibious objective area to include: embarking, transporting, controlling, inserting, sustaining and extracting elements of a marine air-ground task force, and supporting forces by helicopters and tilt rotors supported by Joint Strike Fighters F-35B.