Last updated: 27 Nov 2018
Amphibious Command ships provide command and control for fleet commanders. The two Blue Ridge-class LCCs are the only ships designed from the keel up for an amphibious/command ship role. After entering service, both ships largely have served as fleet flagships.
Blue Ridge became the Seventh Fleet flagship in 1979 and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
Mount Whitney serves as Sixth Fleet flagship, after having operated since 1981 as Second Fleet flagship. Mount Whitney underwent an MSC conversion in fiscal 2005 and operates with a hybrid crew of Civilian Mariners (CIVMARs) and active Navy personnel. The ship participates in a number of fleet and multinational exercises and operations in the European theater. It remains a commissioned ship with an active-duty Navy commanding officer.
Commissioned in 1971, these are the only ships to be designed initially for an amphibious command ship role. Earlier amphibious command ships lacked sufficient speed to keep up with a 20-knot amphibious force.
USS Blue Ridge and USS Mount Whitney's service lives were extended in 2011 by the chief of Naval Operations to 2039. An Extended Service Life Program (ESLP) is being executed jointly by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Military Sealift Command. ESLP is focused on ensuring the platforms can support the full range of mission requirements for an embarked numbered fleet commander. The program provides for the repair and overhaul of systems/equipment, replacement of obsolete equipment and modernization of selected systems, spaces and equipment to be included in an extended service life program. Major areas of improvement will be shipboard electrical generation and distribution, HVAC upgrades, operational space optimization, habitability and safety modifications, and corrosion control.
General Characteristics Ships:
General Characteristics, Blue Ridge Class Builder: Philadelphia Naval Shipyard (LCC 19)
Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. (LCC 20).
Propulsion: One geared turbine, two boilers, one shaft, 22,000 horsepower
Length: 634 feet (190 meters)
Beam: 108 feet (32 meters)
Displacement: 18,874 tons (19,176.89 metric tons) full load
Speed: 23 knots (26.5 miles, 42.4 km, per hour)
Crew: 34 officers, 564 enlisted
Armament: 2 Phalanx CIWS, 2 25mm Mk38 guns
Aircraft: None (helicopter landing area only)
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), Gaeta, Italy
Point of Contact
Naval Sea Systems Command
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Washington, D.C. 20376