A new class of amphibious assault warship is at sea today, thanks to five years of hard work of thousands of shipbuilders at Ingalls Shipyard in South Mississippi. The America, now in the hands of the Navy, sailed from Pascagoula last week, headed for its official commissioning in San Francisco in October.
We are proud of the work at Ingalls, where amphibious warships have been built for nearly five decades. The 844 foot America can carry a Marine Expeditionary Unit, including helicopters and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and operate as the flag ship of a strike group.
This expanded capability is the first of its class. And already the shipbuilders at Ingalls are hard at work on the second, the Tripoli.
The builders at Ingalls and all of us in South Mississippi should carry a sense of fulfillment. Fulfillment of a very important need for the ongoing protection and safety of our nation.