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US Navy USS Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship to complete sea trials

The dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) of U.S. Navy departed Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Feb. 3, 2020 to complete type commander (TYCOM) sea trials and execute Mariner Skills Week.

US Navy USS Whidbey Island class dock landing ship to complete sea trials 925 001 U.S. Navy USS Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship. (Picture source  U.S. Navy)

After completing a maintenance availability which began in August 2017, the crew took the ship out to sea in December for contractor sea trials and now heads out to demonstrate and train on a multitude of at sea events which allows the ship to progress in the training cycle. These ships transport and launch amphibious craft and vehicles with their crews and embarked personnel in amphibious assault operations.

USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41) is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. Introduced to fleet service in 1985, this class of ship features a large well deck for the transport of United States Marine Corps (USMC) vehicles and a large flight deck for the landing of helicopters or V-22 Ospreys. The well deck was designed to hold four LCAC hovercraft, five if the vehicle ramp is raised, for landing Marines. Recent deployments have instead filled the well deck with a combination of LCU(s), AAVs, Tanks, LARCs and other USMC vehicles and gear.

LSD 41 Whidbey Island class ships were designed specifically to transport and launch LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion) vessels. It has the largest capacity for these landing crafts (four) of any U.S. Navy amphibious platform. It will also provide docking and repair services for LCACs and for conventional landing crafts.

Upon completion of sea trials, Whidbey Island will continue its training cycle preparing the ship and crew for future maritime operations.