Page 65: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2015)

U.S. Coast Guard Annual

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MLP3 AFSB NASSCO Delivers for the Navy “The MLP is really like the Ford F150 pick-up truck; you can put anything you want in the bed,” said Kevin Graney, NASSCO

General Dynamics National Steel &

Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) chris- tened the USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP

Martha Puller Downs, 3 AFSB) in early February in San Diego. daughter of General

USNS Lewis B. Puller, the third vessel

Puller christens USNS

Lewis B. Puller. of the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) class, is the ? rst of which to be con? g- ured as an A? oat Forward Staging Base (AFSB).

While the Lewis B. Puller is the third in the series, in some respects it has lead ship qualities as it is designated MLP 3 / AFSB, the ? rst to be equipped with a ? ight deck, a hangar and accommoda- tions for about 250 people.

This variant is designed to conduct mine countermeasure warfare with the

Navy, with space available to support special ops.

The third ship’s ? exibility and afford- ability comes courtesy of its ? ight deck, a ? ight deck which is geared towards he- licopters, but can also support as many as four MV22’s, according to a recent study of the space. So with its lift capac- ity, ? exibility and price tag, the ship is viewed as a tremendous value for the (Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO) investment.

According to the builder, the MLP Marine Corps crisis response. Vice President and General Manager of three-ship program a few years ago;

AFSB is capable of supporting missions “The MLP is really like the Ford F150 NASSCO in an interview with Maritime we’re in the process of negotiating the including counter-piracy operations, pick-up truck; you can put anything you Reporter. “It is a versatile platform, and fourth ship; and this year the Navy put maritime security operations, humanitar- want in the bed; in this case we put a it’s exciting for us because the demand in a ? fth ship. We’re keeping our ? ngers ian aid and disaster relief missions and ? ight deck on it,” said Kevin Graney, signal looks in our favor. This was a crossed on that ? fth ship.” 65

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