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Navy to Commission Amphibious Transport Dock Ship Arlington

            The Navy will commission the newest San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, Arlington, during a 12:30 p.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, April 6, 2013, at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. 

            The ship is named for the county of Arlington and honors the first responders and the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001.

“This ship and her proud name symbolize what is exceptional about the United States,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “For the next several decades, Arlington will take Marines and their equipment wherever they are needed, whether to provide humanitarian assistance or lethal combat capability. But more important, Arlington will carry with her the legacy of valor exhibited by Marines throughout the Corps’ history and shown by those who lost their lives on American Airlines Flight 77.”

Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony’s keynote address. Welcome remarks will be made by Bob F. McDonnell, governor of Virginia, and additional remarks will be given by Rep. E. Scott Rigell of Virginia, Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia, Adm. William E. Gortney, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Allison F. Stiller, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for ship programs, and Irwin F. Edenzon, president, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Joyce Rumsfeld, wife of former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, is serving as the ship’s sponsor.  In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

Two previous ships have carried the name Arlington.  The first was a steel-hulled C1-B type cargo ship operating during World War II.  The second USS Arlington was a 14,500-ton Vietnam War era, major communications relay ship, which assisted with communications during a June 1969 conference between U.S. President Nixon and Republic of Vietnam President Thieu.

Designated LPD 24, Arlington is the eighth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class.  As an element of future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support the Marine Corps “mobility triad,” which consists of the landing craft air cushion vehicle, amphibious vehicles and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.  Arlington will provide improved warfighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features.  The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines.

Cmdr. Darren W. Nelson of Rushville, Neb., is the commanding officer and will lead a crew of 360 officers and enlisted Navy personnel and three Marines.  The 24,900-ton ship is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, and a navigational draft of 23 feet.

This event will be aired live at http://www.livestream.com/usnavy beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For more information about this class of ship, please visit the Navy Fact File:  http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=600&ct=4.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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