LSD 42 Germantown
USS GERMANTOWN's mission is to transport, launch, and support landing craft and helicopters carrying United States Marines during amphibious operations against hostile shores. When deployed, GERMANTOWN can carry a Marine landing force with up to 34 officers, 20 non-commissioned officers, and 450 enlisted. GERMANTOWN accomplishes her mission through the use of a well deck that is flooded to embark and launch assault craft. After leaving the ship, the assault craft are directed towards the shore by the ship's Combat Information Center.
GERMANTOWN carries the new Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). The LCAC is an assault hovercraft with the ability to exceed 40 knots while carrying a 60 ton payload. Using this new craft, GERMANTOWN forces will be able to accomplish amphibious assaults against a wide range of beaches.
To provide continuing support to the assault force, GERMANTOWN is equipped with the Navy's latest advanced technology including: updated communication and combat systems, 20 ton and 60 ton cranes, expanded repair facilities, two helicopter landing areas, complete medical and dental facilities, and an automated supply system.
Germantown sailed from San Diego on Jan. 5, 2011, replacing USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). Amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) arrived in San Diego 15 October 2021, after a decade of forward-deployed service in the Indo-Pacific region operating out of Japan. USS Rushmore (LSD 47) will replace Germantown later this year.
As part of the U.S. 7th Fleet's Forward-Deployed Naval Forces in Japan, Germantown worked alongside allied and partner nations to provide security and stability in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Since 2011, Germantown has participated in numerous operations and exercises across the Indo-Pacific including Cobra Gold, Valiant Shield, Kamandag, MTA Sama Sama, and Tiger Triumph 2019, the first U.S.-India bilateral exercise to feature all three joint services – Army, Navy, and Air Force.
During an innovative achievement in June 2021, Germantown resurrected a World War II-era waterborne ambulance concept during a certification exercise. Installing a medical shock trauma section on Germantown’s Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) added another link in the “heal chain” to get wounded Marines from the battlefield to critical care.
USS GERMANTOWN is the second dock landing ship of the WHIDBEY ISLAND-class (LSD 41).
GERMANTOWN was constructed by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company of Seattle, Washington and her keel was laid on August 5, 1982. She was commissioned on February 8, 1986, and was the first ship of the LSD 41 class to serve on the West Coast. She is 609 feet long, with a beam of 84 feet. Her displacement is approximately 12,000 tons light and 16,500 tons loaded, with a maximum speed of over 20 knots.
GERMANTOWN was built from the keel up to accommodate the Navy's newest assault landing craft, the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). Using these new craft, GERMANTOWN is able to assault a wider range of beaches.
GERMANTOWN is able to accommodate up to five LCAC's or conventional landing craft and the crews, personnel, and equipment needed to support them. She is capable of carrying up to 504 troops along with the weapons systems, equipment, and supplies needed to support Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations.
GERMANTOWN is equipped with the Navy's latest advanced technology including updated communications and combat systems, 20 and 60 ton cranes, expanded repair shop facilities, two helicopter landing areas, complete medical and dental facilities and an automated computer based supply system.
Focused in the center of the insignia is a black eagle symbolizing the country of Germany. Early immigrants from Germany settled outside Philadelphia to form the community of Germantown. The keystone on the eagle refers to the State of Pennsylvania. The wavy form encompassed in the keystone is symbolic of a spring at the site of the Battle of Germantown. Water from the spring was used to christen the first ship named for Germantown. The eagle is armed in red and gold, referring to the Marine Corps in support of the ship's amphibious assault missions.
The scarlet and gold castle tower represents the German town of Krefeld, where the founders of Germantown originated. The two colonial-style bayonets recall the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. The stars in the bayonets stand for the two ships named for this historical location.
GERMANTOWN adopted its motto from a quote by Francis Daniel Pastorius, German scholar and original settler of the Germantown community. "FOLGEN SIE UNSEREN FUSSPUREN!" translates as "Follow in our footsteps!" The motto illustrates the prosperity and success Pastorius found so characteristic in Germantown. The ship USS GERMANTOWN takes pride in sustaining a high degree of professionalism and challenges all to "follow in our footsteps."
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