USS Essex (LHD 2) is the second ship to be commissioned in the WASP-class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships. The principle mission of Essex is to conduct prompt, sustained operations at sea, primarily as the centerpiece and flagship of the Amphibious Ready Group. LHDs provide the means to transport, deploy, command and support all elements of a Marine landing force of over 2,000 troops during an assault by air and amphibious craft.
Designed to be versatile, Essex has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets, and Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC), as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations. LHDs missions, while operating with an aircraft carrier battle group. The ship's extensive medical facilities consist of six medical operating rooms, four dental operating rooms, medical laboratories and hospital facilities capable of caring for 600 patients.
In carrying out its primary mission, the 844-foot long, 44,000-ton Essex will transport and land ashore troops, tanks, trucks, artillery, and other supplies necessary to support an assault.
ABOUT THE SHIP
Keel Laid : March 20,1989
Christening: March 16, 1991
Commissioning: October 17, 1992 in San Diego, CA
View additional ship specifications and other ships in the class.