|USS GERMANTOWN is the second WHIDBEY ISLAND class dock landing ship and was the first ship in the class to serve in the Pacific. The amphibious assault ship's mission is to project power ashore by transporting and launching amphibious craft and vehicles loaded with embarked Marines in support of an amphibious assault. The ship was designed specifically to operate with Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vessels. It has the largest capacity for these landing craft (four) of any US Navy amphibious platform.
Germantown can render limited docking and repair service to small ships and craft. It's class of ship provides for greater storage space of weapons and equipment, improved facilities for embarked troops, and greater range of operations.
The ship incorporates material handling equipment including elevators, package/roller conveyors, and forklifts, pallet transporters, and a turntable for vehicles and equipment during loading/offloading operations. Her flight deck can support the landing, refueling, and launching of any type of Naval or Marine helicopter. During amphibious operations, Germantown has the capability to serve as Primary Control Ship.
Germantown is an extremely versatile, capable platform, ready to handle a myriad of tasks and secondary missions. The capability of Naval forces to quickly and effectively extract beleaguered civilians from inhospitable areas has made the Navy and Marine Corps team the force of choice to conduct Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO).
|The ship can carry and deliver hundreds of tons of relief materials to victims within hours of arrival on the scene. She has been fitted with state of the art medical and dental facilities. This capability enables Germantown to serve not only as a ship of war, but also as a ship of peace. |
The Navy ordered USS GERMANTOWN March 26, 1982. Four years later, on Feb. 8, 1986, the ship was commissioned. It played a significant role during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The ship participated in mock amphibious assaults in the United Arab Emirates after the start of the air war in preparation for a possible amphibious assault.
On August 16, 2002, USS HARPERS FERRY relieved USS GERMANTOWN as a forward deployed naval unit in Sasebo, Japan. Germantown returned to San Diego, where she underwent a $25 million overhaul. One year later, the ship deployed to the Arabian Gulf as part of Expeditionary Strike Group One. Germantown supported Operation Iraqi Freedom by landing Marines and equipment from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
|USS GERMANTOWN is the second ship to bear the name of the historical Pennsylvania district of Germantown, famous for being the site of an important battle of the American Revolution. On October 4, 1777 the Continental Army led by George Washington and the British under Sir William Howe clashed in battle amidst dense fog. While having numerical superiority, the attempt to repeat the earlier success of the Trenton campaign would fail and despite a close fought battle Washington was forced to retreat. Even though the battle was lost, the new Army’s attempt to dislodge the British forces was evidence of the colonists’ tenacity and courage in battle against the better trained British troops and helped to gain French support for the final battle at Yorktown.
Commissioned on February 8, 1986, USS GERMANTOWN is the second ship of the WHIDBEY ISLAND class dock landing ships, and the first assigned to the Pacific Fleet. The WHIDBEY ISLAND class LSD was specifically designed to operate with the Navy’s new Landing Craft Air Cushion assault craft and can carry more LCAC’s than any other Navy ship. GERMANTOWN was the first LSD to deploy with this new weapon system in 1987.
On 1 December 1990, GERMANTOWN departed San Diego enroute to the Arabian Gulf as part of the largest West Coast amphibious task force since 1965. The ship played a significant role during Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, conducting mock amphibious assaults in the United Arab Emirates in preparation for a possible landing as part of DESERT STORM.
Shortly after returning from DESERT STORM, GERMANTOWN shifted her homeport to Sasebo, Japan. There she operated as a forward deployed asset in the Navy’s Seventh Fleet until she was relieved on August 16, 2002 by USS HARPERS FERRY (LSD 49). GERMANTOWN returned to San Diego, CA, where she underwent a $25 million overhaul.
|In 2004, GERMANTOWN offloaded Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) at Kuwait Naval Base as part of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During the deployment, the ship also offloaded Marines for bilateral training in the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, and Kenya and assisted in the rescue of eight Iraqi merchant sailors after their ship sank in the Arabian Gulf. |
GERMANTOWN deployed again in February 2006 to the Arabian Gulf in support of operation ENDURING FREEDOM carrying Marines of the 11th MEU to Kuwait. She assisted Iraq in the North Arabian Gulf by responding to an oil fire on the Khwar Al Amaya Oil Terminal and by querying vessels before they entered Iraqi waters. GERMANTOWN constantly contributed to coalition objectives by conducting presence Operations throughout the Arabian Gulf before returning to her homeport in August 2006.
After intensive Unit Level and Integrated Training Cycles GERMANTOWN departed for the Arabian Gulf on November 5, 2007 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. After offloading Battalion Landing Team 1/5 of the 11th MEU in Kuwait for field exercises, GERMANTOWN conducted Maritime Security Operations throughout the Gulf. Fifth Fleet reached out to GERMANTOWN to operate in non-traditional roles for a ship of her class; tasking her with conducting oil platform defense in the narrow Shatt-Al-Arab waterway on the Iraq-Iran border. She returned home to San Diego, CA, on June 3rd, 2008 and began preparations for an extended mid-life overhaul period commencing in the winter of 2008.
Upon her return, preparations began for an extended mid-life overhaul period. The ship moved to CMSD on January 8, 2008 where she remained until October 2009 when she returned to 32nd Street Naval Station. The ship then began preparing for INSURV and a hull swap with the Harpers Ferry in Japan.
Focused in the center of the insignia is a black eagle symbolizing the country of Germany. Early immigrants from Germany settled outside Philadelphia to form the community of Germantown. The keystone on the eagle refers to the State of Pennsylvania. The wavy form encompassed in the keystone is symbolic of a spring at the site of the Battle of Germantown. Water from the spring was used to christen the first ship named for Germantown. The eagle is armed in red and gold, referring to the Marine Corps in support of the ship's amphibious assault missions.
The scarlet and gold castle tower represents the German town of Krefeld, where the founders of Germantown originated. The two colonial-style bayonets recall the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. The stars in the bayonets stand for the two ships named for this historical location.
GERMANTOWN adopted its motto from a quote by Francis Daniel Pastorius, German scholar and original settler of the Germantown community. "FOLGEN SIE UNSEREN FUSSPUREN!" translates as "Follow in our footsteps!" The motto illustrates the prosperity and success Pastorius found so characteristic in Germantown. The ship USS GERMANTOWN takes pride in sustaining a high degree of professionalism and challenges all to "follow in our footsteps."