|USS Anchorage - screenshot from video below.|
"Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has approved the date of May 4, 2013 as the day of commissioning for the Anchorage (LPD 23). Early this year it was announced that the commissioning would be held in Anchorage, a first for the city and the state of Alaska.
The commissioning is a formal ceremony in which the ship officially becomes a unit of the operating forces of the United States Navy. It is the final, most significant event, and the occasion when the ship "comes alive" and becomes a United States Navy Vessel."
The USS Anchorage is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. Don't know what that means? Or why it's LPD 23? These terms and lots of other interesting tidbits are in the Navy's FAQs I've posted at the bottom of this post.
Actually, this is the second USS Anchorage. The first one is sitting on the bottom of the sea off of Kauai. She was used as target practice in 2010 after being decommissioned in 2003. She was commissioned in 1969. You can read more about her here and here.
Before the commissioning on Saturday (May 4), the Port of Anchorage is throwing a block party at Town Square on Wednesday (May 1) from 5-9pm.
And there are Public Tours:
Thursday, May 2 starting at 1:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 3 starting at 2:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m
Or you can go on this cool video tour from the ship's website.
Tickets for the commissioning itself are sold out, but you can watch the ceremony online.
It's at 10am - 11am.
Here's some technical data from the ship's website:
Length: 684 feet (208.5 meters).From what I can tell, the ship cost $134 million plus another $18 million modification of the contract.
Beam: 105 feet (31.9 meters).
Displacement: Approximately 25,586 long tons (full load).
Speed: In excess of 22 knots
Crew: Ship’s Company: 360 Sailors (28 officers, 332 enlisted) and 3 Marines.
Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800.
Armament: Two MK 46 Mod 2 guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers, fore and aft: nine .50 calibre machine guns.
Aircraft: Launch or land two CH53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1 or UH-1 helicopters.
Landing/Attack Craft: Landing/Attack Craft: Two LCACs or one LCU; and 14 Amphibious Assault Vehicles.
Here's a video of the christening. On the video you'll hear from a number of folks including the ship sponsor. If you want to know what a sponsor of a ship is and more about Mrs. Conway, the sponsor of this ship, there's a bio on the ship's website. She's scheduled to be in Anchorage for the commissioning.
The document below comes from a Navy website. It was put up before the date and location of the commissioning was launched.