WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy will commission the newest amphibious transport dock, USS Somerset (LPD 25), Saturday, March 1, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.
Somerset is named in honor of the courageous passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, Pa., in Somerset County during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Somerset honors the heroic actions of the 40 crew and passengers of United Flight 93 for their collective sacrifice and the tremendous courage displayed in the face of overwhelming adversity.
"As we commission the Navy's newest LPD, the USS Somerset, we remember the heroes of United Flight 93, whose selfless actions on Sept. 11, 2001, serve as an inspiration to us all," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "I have no doubt that the sailors and Marines who will serve aboard this ship will live up to the ship's motto of 'courage through adversity' and proudly honor those who acted so heroically nearly 13 years ago."
The third of the three U.S. ships named in honor of victims and first responders of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Somerset will join USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Arlington (LPD 24) which are already a part of the Navy's combat force.
Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Mary Jo Myers, wife of former chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, retired Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, will serve as sponsor of the ship. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Myers gives the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Designated LPD-25, Somerset is the ninth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. Its design incorporates state-of-the-art self-defense capabilities, including command and control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I)
suites. Somerset also has a reduced radar cross-section. The advanced enclosed mast/sensors, which enclose the ship's radars and communications antennas, characterize the ship's distinctive profile.
Capt. Thomas L. Dearborn, a native of Mount Vernon, Maine, is the commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 385 officers and enlisted personnel. The 24,900-ton Somerset was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Shipbuilding in Avondale, La. The ship is 684 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 105 feet, and a navigational draft of 23 feet. Four diesel engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 22 knots.
The commissioning ceremony will be broadcast live on the Direct to Sailor network, The Pentagon Channel and www.navy.mil at 11:00 EST.
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. Additional information on amphibious transport dock is available online at: