Speaking on behalf of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson, deputy CNO Vice Adm. Dixon Smith went down memory lane, recalling the history of the Oregon Shipyard, which during the height of World War II launched 24 ships in only 30 days.
“The USS Portland has joined the ever growing list of reasons for Portlanders to be proud,” said Smith. “The men and women of this crew come from all across the nation and will soon sail, perhaps into harm’s way, to keep us safe here at home.”
Upon conclusion of the ceremony, guests were invited to tour the 684-foot war fighting vessel, where they could experience the state of the art design that will continue to sail decades from today with future generations of Sailors and Marines aboard.
“Portland’s motto, ‘First Responders, Brave and Determined’ made having
the ceremony in Portland — with the city’s first responders present — even more meaningful for all in attendance,” said Hill.
Prior to commissioning, Portland underwent multiple phases to prepare her join the fleet.
The ship’s formal recognition of transition from concept to reality began Aug. 2, 2013 at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding during the keel laying ceremony when the ship’s sponsor, Bonnie Amos, engraved her name upon a plaque, as a symbol authenticating the keel.
A mast stepping ceremony was then held May 20, 2016. This time-honored Naval tradition symbolizes the moment a shell becomes a ship, and her crew honors
that tradition by placing mementos into a time capsule for future Portland Sailors to discover.
Portland was officially launched May 21, 2016 after a ceremonial christening was held Feb. 13, 2016.
Today, Portland boasts a heavy arsenal of capabilities beneath the hood.
Amphibious transport dock ships are versatile players in maritime security with the ability to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Group (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs), or Joint Task Forces (JTFs). In addition to performing their primary mission, the San Antonio-class ships support anti-piracy operations, provide humanitarian assistance, and foreign disaster relief operations around the world.