NavWeek: Waiting For Somerset


Being originally from Philly, there was no way I could turn down a recent tour of the nation’s newest amphibious transport dock ship LPD-25 USS Somerset in advance of the ship’s March 1 commissioning pierside at the city’s Penn’s Landing section on a day that only an Eskimo could love.

blog post photo

It was an added bonus to see a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor tackle the wicked winds ruffling the Delaware River and execute a perfect landing on the Somerset.

Inside the much warmer cocoon of the ship, Capt. Thomas Dearborn noted appropriateness of commissioning this ship in Philly, the birthplace of the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps – indeed the Marines came into being at a pub just a bit down the road even before the United States was a nation.

Dearborn talked about Somerset’s attributes. It could deliver a punch of Marines or materiel for humanitarian needs – as well as more lethal missions. “It has a lot of command and control capability,” he says. “It has a capability over legacy (ships).”

Somerset is the ninth LPD-17 San Antonio-class ship and earlier programmatic problems are well-documented. But Navy and Marine officials say those issues exist no more.

As far as the Somerset goes, Dearborn agrees. “This is the best LPD to date,” he says. “Huntington Ingalls (Industries) delivered a great ship.”

The Somerset will likely start operating in the fleet in 2016, he says.

The Navy and Marine Corps can’t wait.

“Sailors and Marines love this ship,” says Marine Gen. Robert Walsh, director of Navy expeditionary warfare.

It’ll be a shame to see it leave Philly though. Somerset looks quite at home there.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Aug 27, 2015

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 12

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 28

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×