Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group
Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group
"Proud, Trustworthy, Bold"
The contract to build the Kearsarge was awarded to Ingalls on Nov 20, 1987. The keel was laid on Feb 6, 1990 and she was launched on Mar 26 1992.
KEARSARGE's construction began with hundreds of smaller subassemblies in which piping sections, ventilation ducting and other shipboard hardware, as well as major machinery items, such as main propulsion equipment, generators, and electrical panels were installed. The preoutfitted subassemblies were then joined with others to form assemblies which were welded together to form five completed hull and superstructure modules.
These five giant ship modules, each weighing thousands of tons, were joined together on land to form the completed hull prior to launch, resulting in a ship 77 percent complete at launch. The ship's launching was just as innovative as her construction. LHD 3 was rolled from her construction area to Ingall's floating dry dock for haunch on a rail transfer system. The dry dock was then positioned over a deep-water pit and ballasted down, allowing the ship to float free. Following launch, KEARSARGE was taken to her outfitting pier for christening, final outfitting and dockside testing.
LHD-3 was commissioned on Oct 16, 1993.
KEARSARGE departed for her maiden deployment on March 22, 1995. KEARSARGE served as the primary platform for the rescue of Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady after he was shot down over Bosnia.
After the deployment, KEARSARGE served as the primary Navy unit participating in the 1995 New York City Veteran's Day activities, which marked our nation's final tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II.
KEARSARGE began her second deployment on April 15, 1997. She relieved USS NASSAU (LHA 4) on station off the coast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in support of Operation Guardian Retrieval on May 2, 1997. KEARSARGE was later directed to Freetown, Sierra Leone to conduct Noncombatant Evacuation Operation in support of Operation Noble Obelisk. On May 31, she began evacuating American citizens and foreign nationals from Sierra Leone. During the four-day operation, KEARSARGE evacuated more than 2,500 Americans and foreign nationals from more than 40 countries.
The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) returned home to Norfolk 06 November 2017, after 68 days of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Kearsarge, the staff of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, along with the 26th and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); Commander, Amphibious Squadron 6; Tactical Air Control Squadron 22; Fleet Surgical Team 4; and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7, departed for Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 31, after approximately 30 hours in port following a 10-day underway conducting routine shipboard certifications.
"Besides delivering combat power from the sea, amphibious assault ships are ideally suited to deliver assistance and aid," said Kearsarge's Commanding Officer Capt. David K. Guluzian. "We can transport large amounts of manpower and supplies to areas in need using our small boats, landing craft and helicopters. With the collaboration of all-hands, prior to departing Naval Station Norfolk, Kearsarge took on more than 200 pallets containing items such as baby food and formula, diapers, bedding, water bottles, coolers, batteries, towels, canned and dry food items and food service supplies.
Shortly after their arrival off the coast of Florida, Kearsarge and her crew received word of Hurricane Irma and were redirected to the Caribbean to be ready to immediately respond. As soon as the storm passed the U.S. Virgin Islands, Kearsarge was on station to render aid.
Just two weeks after Irma ravaged the U.S. Virgin Islands, Kearsarge, along with the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) were again redirected and temporarily departed the area to prepare for impending Hurricane Maria. As soon as Maria passed, helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft from Kearsarge and her units were flying search and rescue and aerial assessment missions over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
After the initial delivery of life-sustaining commodities to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the mission then added a focus on road and route clearance. While still maintaining regular deliveries of supplies to points of distribution as well as hard-to-reach locations in Puerto Rico, Marines and Seabees were on the ground removing debris, enabling federal and Puerto Rican government employees and volunteers to begin service and infrastructure restoration.
Shield and Crest
Blue and gold are colors traditionally associated with the Navy and symbolize the sea and excellence. The green chevron suggests Kearsarge Mountain. A green peaked mountain in New Hampshire. The amphibious nature of the combat operations of the present USS KEARSARGE is represented by green and blue, alluding land and sea. The arrowheads, together with the white chevronel which represents a shore line, allude to assault landings. The stars commemorate the battle stars the third KEARSARGE received for Korean War and Vietnam War service.
The wings of the crest symbolize the aviation capabilities of both the present and the third KEARSARGE; they are gold for the honor and achievement. The white anchor recalls the round the world cruise of the second KEARSARGE of the Great White Fleet in 1907 and denotes the naval prowess of the USS KEARSARGEs. The blue and gray wavy bar highlights the Civil War service for the first USS KEARSARGE. Supporters ~ The swords are crossed to denote cooperation and teamwork as well as the combined combat mission of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Motto ~ "Proud...Bold...Trustworthy."
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