SAN DIEGO – The crew of the dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) celebrated the ship’s 25th commissioning anniversary with a cake cutting and barbeque while in a maintenance availability period, June 1.
During the cake cutting ceremony, the commanding officer of Rushmore, Cmdr. Sarah H. De Groot, expressed how proud she is to be able to serve aboard a ship with such extensive history in the fleet.
“It’s an honor to serve aboard Rushmore and I’m proud of all the ship has accomplished,” said De Groot. “Our success during the maintenance availability thus far will ensure the ship will have many more successes to come.”
Rushmore is the second Navy ship to be named for the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She is the seventh ship in her class of dock landing ships, commissioned on June 1, 1991. During her first of 11 deployments, Rushmore spearheaded the beach landing on Somalia during Operation Restore Hope, the largest military humanitarian operation in history.
In 2004, while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, a catastrophic earthquake struck the Indian Ocean in which Rushmore was called to take part in a massive military humanitarian operation, Operation Unified Assistance. During the ship’s 2015 deployment, Rushmore made headlines when rescuing 65 stranded mariners in the Makassar Strait after their ferry capsized. Rushmore provided much needed medical aid, food, water and clothing.
Adm. Michelle Howard, the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations, served as one of Rushmore’s commanding officers. When she assumed command of Rushmore in 1999, Howard was the first African American woman to command a U.S. Navy warship.
Rushmore’s crew consists of more than 375 Sailors. In addition to their normal duties aboard the ship, the crew plays an integral part during the ship’s current maintenance availability ensuring that the ship is maintained and well preserved. Rushmore is scheduled to be in the shipyard until their training phase begins in early 2017.