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Shaffer
09-10-02, 08:56 AM
NEW YORK(Sept. 7, 2002) -- The Honorable Gordon England, Secretary of the Navy, and Honorable George Pataki, Governor of New York, officially announced the naming of a new ship USS New York (LPD 21) in a ceremony aboard the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum Saturday here in New York. On hand to witness the ceremony was the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, the Deputy Mayor of New York Carol Robles-Roman, and President of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Dr. Philip Dur.

The USS New York is part of the San Antonio LPD 17 class of expeditionary warship and will begin construction mid-2003 with a mid-2005 launch date, according to a Northrop Grumman press release.

At 684 feet long and weighing nearly 25,000 tons, the LPD 17 class ships, including the New York, will be the second largest amphibious ships in the 21st century Navy. According to the press release, the amphibious transport dock ship will "embark, transport and land elements of a landing force in forward presence operations worldwide." The New York will carry a crew of 402 sailors and up to 800 Marines.

According to an Associated Press article, several ships have carried the name New York or New York City, including a battleship commissioned in 1914 that fought in both World Wars and a submarine decommissioned in the 1990s. While state names are often reserved for submarines, Secretary England granted "special dispensation" for the name.

In keeping with tradition for emblazoning slogans on Naval craft, the New York will carry "Never Forget" in tribute to the lives lost at the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001. Additionally, Northrop Grumman and the Navy plan to include a piece of the World Trade Center in the ship to strengthen the ship's bond to its namesake. Survivors and family members from the 9/11 attacks on New York and various veterans groups helped Misters England and Pataki unveil a model of the ship. The New York is expected to make its debut in New York Harbor at a future Fleet Week.