The Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, USS Tripoli (LHA 7), arrived at its new homeport in San Diego, Sept. 18.
Tripoli, the only America-class amphibious assault ship in San Diego, joins the Wasp-class large-deck amphibious assault vessels USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), and USS Makin Island (LHD 8). As the largest amphibious ship on the waterfront, Tripoli serves as an LHD variant designed to accommodate the Marine Corps’ future Air Combat Element (ACE) including the F-35B Lightning II and MV-22 Osprey.
The arrival of the Tripoli’s brings approximately 1,100 Sailors and their family members to the San Diego area.
“It will be nice to get the ship to her homeport in San Diego, a city that is renowned for its continuing support of our service members. This crew has not ceased to amaze me in how they have risen to every challenge from ship’s delivery, to crew move aboard, to operating under new health guidelines, to sail around,” said Master Chief Alicia Harrison, Tripoli’s acting Command Master Chief.
Tripoli is the second LHA to be delivered to the Navy, and the third in naval history to bear the name which harkens back to the first U.S. battle fought on foreign soil. The name Tripoli was previously assigned to a Casablanca-class escort carrier which saw service in the Second World War. Later, the first amphibious assault ship with the name USS Tripoli (LPH 10) served in Vietnam and during the Gulf War.
Tripoli was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, by Huntington Ingalls Industries. Prior to departing for San Diego, Tripoli’s crew conducted a 14-day restriction of movement (ROM) in accordance with U.S. Navy pre-deployment guidelines. In addition, the Navy canceled the ship’s traditional commissioning ceremony as a COVID mitigation measure. The Navy commissioned Tripoli via naval message on 15 July and transitioned the ship into service as scheduled.
“Our Sailors did an outstanding job in getting Tripoli safely to our new homeport of San Diego. Now, we shift our focus to preparing this ship for her future mission: supporting combat operations and providing humanitarian assistance around the globe, in the air, on land, and sea,” said Capt. Kevin Meyers, Tripoli’s commanding officer.