The third of three Navy ships named in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is scheduled to arrive at its San Diego home port today.
The 684-foot amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset, the ninth vessel of its class, was commissioned March 1 in Philadelphia before an estimated audience of 5,000 people.
"The crew of Somerset has worked extremely hard to train, qualify and prepare this great ship for service," said Capt. Thomas Dearborn, the commanding officer. "They have met all challenges head-on and they have produced outstanding results exceeding all expectations."
The vessel has a crew of nearly 400 and can transport around 1,200 Marines. Amphibious transport dock ships carry smaller landing craft that are designed to transport troops into war zones. They can also carry helicopters and can be used to deliver other cargo, such as supplies.
Somerset is named in honor of the crew and passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pa., in Somerset County during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The other amphibious transport dock ships are the USS New York and USS Arlington. The New York honors the victims and first responders at the World Trade Center, while the Arlington is for those who died and the rescuers at the Pentagon.
—City News Service