Newest warship honors courageous United Airlines Flight 93 passengers
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) was commissioned in Philadelphia on 1 March 2014. It is the ninth ship in the San Antonio class. These ships incorporate both a flight deck and a well deck. The flight deck can accommodate CH-46 helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. The well deck can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles. It is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines. Its vital statistics are: length – 684 feet; beam – 105 feet; draft – 23 feet; and displacement – 24,900 long tons. Its four turbocharged diesel engines can propel the ship at a maximum speed in excess of 22 knots. It was built at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Avondale, Louisiana using steel from the site near Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on 11 September 2001 when the courageous actions of the passengers thwarted efforts of terrorists to reach their destination. USS Somerset is the third of three sister ships named in honor of those heroes and the first responders to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The other ships, USS New York and USS Arlington, are already on active service. Materials from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were incorporated into those ships. Following commissioning, USS Somerset, with its crew of 360 sailors, will depart for its homeport of San Diego. It is the fifth US Navy ship to carry the name Somerset.