By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Next stop: Philadelphia for a 25,000-ton amphibious warship. But this one’s nothing to worry about — for us, anyway.
It’s a US Navy vessel that left this morning from a shipbuilding yard in Mississippi and will be commissioned here this fall.
The USS John P. Murtha, named for the late congressman from western Pennsylvania, can carry 700 troops and the transport they need for assault and special operations missions:
“Any rotor wing vehicle the US has, it can launch from its flight deck. Also, it launches the Marine Corps striker vehicles, where they can launch an attack from the sea.”
Helicopters, the Osprey tiltrotors, hovercraft — all can hitch a ride on the Murtha’s landing platform dock.
Tom Metzgar heads the commissioning committee.
“Not only do they perform wartime duties, but most of the time, thank goodness, we’re offering humanitarian aid to countries that can’t provide for their people. We drop off food and sometimes pick up people and bring them onboard.”
The Murtha’s homeport will be at the naval base in San Diego, but you’ll be able to tour the ship here when it moors at Penn’s Landing ahead of commissioning.