About U.S. Amphibious Warships
The United States Navy is the world’s most technologically advanced and equipped naval force. The U.S. Navy employs over 325,000 personnel delegated to active service with another 107,000 held in the Navy reserves.
The Navy has over 430 commissioned military ships and hundreds more support craft. That includes 3,700 various jets, propeller planes, and helicopters. Many of these military fighting vessels are classed as amphibious warships.
Amphibious ships are a special design. Their purpose serves a bridge between open-water sea performance and delivering armed combat troops onto land.
Amphibious ships are called “gator freighters” because they’re as at-home by the land as they are in the water. Amphibious ships also serve to support civilian operations like disaster relief, humanitarian evacuations and delivering essentials like food, water, clothing, and fuel.
The Navy didn’t possess any amphibious ships before World War II. When it became obvious America would be involved in the sea and land-based military operations in Europe and the Far East, the U.S. Navy commenced a massive shipbuilding effort.
Asbestos on Amphibious Warships
Many of these vessels were newly-designed amphibious ships that contained asbestos, a supposedly safe material that actually causes life-threatening diseases.
These multi-role warships evolved with the times and requirements. Many amphibious warships served as light aircraft carriers as well as landing craft. By the Korean and Vietnam wars, amphibious ships hosted helicopter attack squadrons as well as vertical take-off Harrier jump-jets.
These are the amphibious warship classes used by the U.S. Navy:
- Wasp Class (LHD): Landing Helicopter Dock ships.
- Tarawa Class (LHA): Landing Helicopter Attack ships.
- San Antonio Class (LPD): Landing Platform Docks.
- Aircraft Support (LSD): Landing Support Dick ships.
- Amphibious Command (LCC): Logistics, Communications and Coordinating ships.
The most advanced amphibious warships in the Navy are the American class vessels. The USS Tripoli is an all-out attack ship housing the Marines F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It’s huge with a crew of 1,200 and capable of deploying 1,800 ground troops.