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General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia Cruise Books About the Construction "Kearsarge" The 1999's deployment Image Gallery to end of page

USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

USS KEARSARGE is the third ship in the WASP - class and the fourth ship in the Navy to bear the name.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: February 6, 1990
Launched: March 26, 1992
Commissioned: October 16, 1993
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding , West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.
Propulsion system: two boilers, two geared turbines
Propellers: two
Aircraft elevators: two
Length: 840 feet (256 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 140 feet (42.6 meters)
Beam: 106 feet (32,.3 meters)
Draft: 26,5 feet (8.1 meters)
Displacement: approx. 40,500 tons full load
Speed: 23 knots
Aircraft: (depends upon mission)
6 AV-8B Harrier attack planesor6 AV-8B Harrier attack planes
4 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helis12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters
9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters
4 UH-1N Huey helicopters
Assault:orSea Control:
42 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters20 AV-8B Harrier attack planes
6 ASW helicopters
Crew: Ship: 73 officers, 1,009 enlisted      Marine Detachment: 1,894
Armament: two Mk-29 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, eight Mk-33 .50 cal. machine guns, two Rolling Airframe Missile Systems
Cost: approx. $353 million
Homeport: Norfolk, Va.

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS KEARSARGE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the Construction of USS KEARSARGE:

Fabrication work for KEARSARGE began at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi on March 6, 1989. Joseph J. Went, USMC, Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, authenticated KEARSARGE's keel laying on February 6, 1990, and LHD 3 was launched on March 26, 1992.

The design and construction of the LHD-class amphibious assault ship utilizes efficient preoutfitting modular construction techniques. They involve the most extensive engineering design and ship production coordination ever utilized U.S. Navy shipbuilding.

KEARSARGE's construction began with hundreds of smaller subassemblies in which piping sections, ventilation ducting and other shipboard hardware, as well as major machinery items, such as main propulsion equipment, generators, and electrical panels were installed. The preoutfitted subassemblies were then joined with others to form assemblies which were welded together to form five completed hull and superstructure modules.

These five giant ship modules, each weighing thousands of tons, were joined together on land to form the completed hull prior to launch, resulting in a ship 77 percent complete at launch. The ship's launching was just as innovative as her construction. LHD 3 was rolled from her construction area to Ingall's floating dry dock for haunch on a rail transfer system. The dry dock was then positioned over a deep-water pit and ballasted down, allowing the ship to float free. Following launch, KEARSARGE was taken to her outfitting pier for christening, final outfitting and dockside testing.

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About the USS KEARSARGE's 1999 Deployment:

The USS KEARSARGE amphibious ready group (ARG) returned to Hampton Roads Thursday, Oct. 14, 1999, following a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean. The ARG, which left Apr. 14, 1999, was composed of the KEARSARGE, USS PONCE (LPD 15) and USS GUNSTON HALL (LSD 44).

The deployment was anything but routine. Upon arrival on station in the Adriatic Sea, the ARG deployed its Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit into Albania, to construct a camp for refugees fleeing the fighting in Kosovo. Marine Corps AV-8B "Harrier" aircraft then conducted numerous bombing runs into Kosovo during the NATO-led effort to remove Serbian armed forces from the province.

Once the Serbs withdrew from Kosovo, the ARG's Marines once again deployed ashore, this time into Kosovo to provide an initial peacekeeping presence in the region, along with other NATO forces. The 26th MEU spent 40 days in Kosovo before returning to the three ARG ships. After enjoying liberty in several Mediterranean ports, the ARG/MEU team was once again called into action, this time to provide relief and assistance to Turkey in the wake of a devastating earthquake. The KEARSARGE medical department built a "tent city" to house thousands left homeless by the quake, and the ARG/MEU delivered water and humanitarian supplies to many hard-to-reach sites within the country.

During the past six months, the KEARSARGE ARG and 26th MEU traveled more than 15 thousand miles, and visited ports such as Brindisi, Italy; Haifa, Israel; and Palma, Spain.

Capt. James Bolcar, Commander Amphibious Squadron Two, commands the Kearsarge amphibious ready group, and Col. Kenneth Glueck is commander to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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The photo below was taken by Karl-Heinz Ahles while USS KEARSARGE was inport Norfolk, Va., in September 1998.

The photo below was taken by Brian Barton when KEARSARGE (left) was at Naval Base Norfolk on July 23, 2002. The ship next to KEARSARGE is the USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7).

The photos below were taken by me and show the KEARSARGE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on May 6, 2012.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the KEARSARGE at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair Facility near the end of a five-month Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA). The photos were taken on May 8, 2014. Two days later, the ship left the shipyard.

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