USS AMERICA (LHA-6)MISSION

In naming LHD-1 "Wasp", the Navy honors nine previous ships, dating to the American Revolution, which have borne this illustrious name. Previous U.S. Navy ships named Wasp include: a schooner (1775-1777), a sloop of war (1806-1813), another schooner (1810-1814), a tender sloop (1813-1814), a ship-rigged sloop of war (1814), an iron-hulled side wheel steamer (1865-1876), a steam yacht (1898-1921), and the most famous of the nine, two aircraft carriers, CV-7 (1940-1942) and CV-18 (1943-1972). The eighth Wasp was a 14,700 ton, 741-foot aircraft carrier that earned two battle stars during World War II. Wasp's sterling performance evoked British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's famous quote, "Who said a Wasp couldn't sting twice?" After shifting to the Pacific theater of operations, CV-7 participated in a number of major engagements before being sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal on September 15, 1942. Following the loss of CV-7, CV-18, already under construction at the time, became the ninth Wasp. The ship earned eight battle stars for it's World War II service in the Pacific. After 29 years of gallant naval service, CV-18 was decommissioned in 1972.

About the Ship

Builder: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, MSississippi Date Deployed: July 29, 1989 (USS Wasp) Propulsion: (LHDs 1-7) two boilers, two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total brake horsepower; (LHD 8) two gas turbines, two shafts; 70,000 total shaft horsepower, two 5,000 horsepower auxiliary propulsion motors Length: 844 feet (253.2 meters) Beam: 106 feet (31.8 meters) Displacement: LHDs 1-4: 40,650 tons full load (41,302.3 metric tons) LHDs 5-7: 40,358 tons full load (41,005.6 metric tons) LHD 8: 41,772 tons full load (42,442.3 metric tons) Speed: 20+ knots (23.5+ miles per hour) Crew: Ships Company: 66 officers, 1,004 enlisted LHD 8: 65 officers, 994 enlisted Marine Detachment: 1,687 troops (plus 184 surge) Armament: Two RAM launchers; two NATO Sea Sparrow launchers; three 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts (two on LHD 5-8); four .50 cal. machine guns; four 25 mm Mk 38 machine guns (LHD 5-8 have three 25 mm Mk 38 machine guns) Aircraft: 12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters; 4 CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters; 6 AV-8B Harrier attack aircraft; 3 UH-1N Huey helicopters; 4 AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters. (planned capability to embark MV-22 Osprey VTOL tilt-rotors) and F-35B Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) STOVL aircraft) Landing/Attack Craft: 3 LCACs or 2 LCUs.
 

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