USS Somerset (LPD-25), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, is the fifth ship of the United States Navy of that name; in this case in honor of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. These ships combine 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and warfighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft, and are capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm’s way.
USS Somerset's keel was laid down on December 11, 2009, and was launched on April 14, 2012. Somerset was christened during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Avondale, LA. Mrs. Mary Jo Myers, the wife of Gen. Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as sponsor of the ship. Cmdr. Stephen C. Hayes was the prospective commanding officer.
It provides the Navy and Marine Corps the ability to embark, transport and land elements of a Marine Expeditionary Unit and Brigade. Designed to operate independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs) or Joint Task Forces (JTFs).