US Navy to build ship named for Harrisburg


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The U.S. Navy will name a ship that has yet to be built after Harrisburg.

Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer visited the capital city on Thursday to announce the naming of USS Harrisburg.

The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, LPD 30, will be 684 feet long and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 22 knots. The $800-million ship will be built in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

“This will be the first LPF Flight II class ship designed to bring Marines along with our Navy integrated forces,” Spencer said.

“It allows for getting in the troops early in an amphibious assault, so it’s a very important component in terms of deterrence and in action,” House Speaker Mike Turzai said.

“Not only will we have a ship which helps us defend our nation, this is a ship that also will be used for humanitarian and relief missions,” said Dr. Peter Navarro, the assistant to the president and the director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.

Spencer says naming it after Harrisburg wasn’t a hard choice.

“When I look at the contribution that Pennsylvania made to not only the history of the Navy but also the defense of this country, it was an easy decision to narrow it down to Pennsylvania, and then looking around Pennsylvania, what better than the capital?” he said.

“Harrisburg has a rich tradition of its residents serving in the Armed Forces,” Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said. “We’ve got a number of monuments in Riverfront Park and elsewhere in the city.”

Papenfuse considers it an honor.

“It celebrates our collective commitment to patriotism, commitment to defense,” he said.

The ship will be the second U.S. Navy vessel named after Harrisburg. The first was a troopship acquired by the Navy during World War I.

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