NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Force Command (USFF) announced Oct. 14 that USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) will replace USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and deploy as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in the summer of 2011.
"The inherent flexibility of our naval forces allows us to realign schedules in order to meet operational requirements," said Adm. John C. Harvey Jr, USFF commander. "Mesa Verde will replace San Antonio in the deployment cycle as we continue to focus on completing the engineering repairs necessary to return San Antonio to the fleet."
Mesa Verde was previously scheduled to deploy in late 2012. This change to her deployment date will not affect any of her planned maintenance work or training schedules as she completes work-ups for deployment with the Bataan ARG.
USFF continues to work closely with commander, Naval Sea Systems Command to ensure that San Antonio returns to the fleet as a fully operational and deployable platform, and that the Navy has given her crew the proper tools and training necessary to use San Antonio to its fullest capability.
San Antonio is currently scheduled to conduct comprehensive crew certification and sea trials in early spring, and the crew is focused on achieving the necessary steps to ensure they are ready to rejoin the fleet.
"San Antonio will deploy when it is operationally sound and ready to go," said Harvey.
Mesa Verde returned from deployment in August as part of the Nassau ARG. The ship steamed more than 35,000 miles during deployment.