Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has christened the amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA 7) with approximately 2,000 guests in attendance.
Lynne Mabus, wife of former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, is the ship’s sponsor and officially christened Tripoli after successfully breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow.
“I’d like to thank the shipbuilders, who, through what must be supernatural abilities, have built something that goes beyond anything nature could create,” Mabus said. “This ship was built by the hands of the women and men of Huntington Ingalls, but it looks as if it was built by the hands of the gods. She is made of 45,000 tons of steel and sweat, and she will carry on her back and in her belly aircraft such as the Harrier, Osprey, Lightning, King Stallion, Viper, Night Hawk. She will also be a place our sailors and Marines will call home.”
Thomas Dee, who is currently serving as Under Secretary of the Navy, gave the ceremony’s keynote address. “When USS Tripoli, the newest America-class amphibious assault ship, joins the fleet, we’ll be a stronger, more flexible and better Navy and Marine Corps team,” he said. “The ship will be a force-multiplier, and her crew will proudly serve our country for decades to come. I am grateful to the men and women of Ingalls Shipbuilding for their dedication and to the citizens of Pascagoula for their unwavering support as we continue to make our Navy stronger.”
Tripoli will be the third ship to bear the name that commemorates the capture of Derna in 1805 by a small force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nations. The battle, memorialized in the Marines’ Hymn with the line “to the shores of Tripoli,” brought about a successful conclusion to the combined operations of the First Barbary War.
“All Ingalls ships are built with one goal in mind: to protect the brave men and women who protect our freedom,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias. “Working closely with our Navy partner, we continue to improve on each ship we build, and Tripoli will be no exception.”
Ingalls is currently the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the US Navy. The shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli (LPH 10), in 1966. Ingalls has since built five Tarawa-class (LHA 1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD 1) ships and the first in a new class of ships, America (LHA 6). The third ship in the America class, Bougainville (LHA 8), is scheduled to start construction in late 2018.