The USS ANCHORAGE, LPD 23, came to Anchorage for her commissioning ceremony on May 4th, 2013. Brian Ross was eager to see his new favorite ship.
I was very excited about the USS Anchorage being commissioned here. LPD's are one of the most versatile ships, with the purpose of putting marines and their equipment ashore with hovercraft and with aircraft.
On Thursday, I waited for FOUR HOURS in line at the Sears Mall. But it was worth it. And I didn't hear anyone else in line complaining either. Anchorage was eager to make the USS Anchorage part of our home.
The USS Anchorage is a San Antonio-class LPD (Landing Platform Dock).
Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.
The USS Anchorage is the seventh ship of the San Antonio class. This is the Anchorage's motto, translated from the Latin which you see in the unit patch.
This is an MV-22 Osprey. It can take off and land vertically in this configuration, then the propellers can be tilted forward to fly like a plane. The Anchorage can use various aircraft, up to 2 larger ones or 4 smaller ones.
Just to give you a size comparison.
Follow the USS Anchorage on Facebook!
Also on the tour was a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.
It's smaller than the Chinook--a double rotor helicopter I had the pleasure of jumping out of as a paratrooper--twice.
The ships company of the USS Anchorage consists of:
360 Sailors (28 officers, 332 enlisted) and 3 Marines.
Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800.
I like the tail art on the back of the Sea Knight.
Old Glory flew proudly off the stern of the vessel over the flight deck.
View from the stern toward the bow.
Why do the USS Anchorage stacks have angles on them? To help reduce its radar signature.
Similar to the F-117 Stealth Fighter, facets help to deflect radar.
Inside the ship, there are various decks and ramps to drive and tow vehicles between storage and the hovercraft. Here's one that I am familiar with--a Howitzer.
I served in the artillery as a medic, and then as an airborne cannon crew member and armorer. This cannon has high tech features that the cannons I used did not.
The very capable Marine cannon crew described the capabilities of the M777 Howitzer (155 mm).
MARINE ARTILLERY! OORAH!!
Find out more about the USS Anchorage's capabilities at
The crew of the USS Anchorage was so friendly. I could tell they were proud to be posted aboard the new ship.
If the USS Anchorage were a person, this would be one of her "hands."
The LCAC, one of two that could be aboard, can carry an Abrams Tank, or several smaller vehicles and the crews.
LCAC means Landing Craft Air Cushion. These hovercraft have two giant fans with fins on the back.
Learn more about the USS Anchorage.
Thanks to the ramps built into the decks, vehicles can drive around in the ship and onto a hovercraft.
The USS Anchorage carries several types of fighting vehicles for its Marines.
Over my shoulder, you'll see the "wet deck." It can be flooded with 9 feet of water, then the back door of the ship opened to release the hovercraft onto the water. Hence, the name D for Dock in LPD.
Coming to the end of the tour. Time to get back on the bus.
My friends Mike and Linda Gutierrez attended the Commissioning Ceremony, which I was not able to attend. It seemed right that the USS Anchorage got some Alaskan snow on her hull before joining the fleet.
Another look at the Osprey.
Banners were draped all along the Anchorage for the commissioning.
It was a cold, wet, snowy day as the USS Anchorage was officially welcomed into our proud US Navy fleet.
SHOUT OUT: Kristin George was one of the volunteers helping with the tours. The counter for people on the tour reads 1563.
Here's Kristin again with a counter for touring Alaskans that read 2126. Luckily on Thursday she spotted me in line and I was able to tell people that the touring schedule was full.
For the stats of the USS Anchorage, go to the US Navy's website page at
Follow the USS Anchorage on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anchoragelpd23?fref=ts
Final photos as I say goodbye to a fine ship and a proud crew who made us feel welcome in their seafaring home.
So long, Big A!
I bought a baseball hat as a souvenir. I was also certain that on the label I would find...
MADE IN THE USA!! JUST LIKE THE USS ANCHORAGE!!
Farewell the USS Anchorage ship and crew. I wish you fair winds and following seas.