USS RUSHMORE is the seventh ship in the WHIDBEY ISLAND - class of Dock Landing Ships and the fourth ship in that class to serve in the Pacific Fleet.
|General Characteristics:||Keel laid: 1987|
|Christened: May 6, 1989|
|Commissioned: June 1, 1991|
|Builder: Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La.|
|Propulsion system: four Colt Industries 16 Cylinder Diesels|
|Length: 610 feet (186 meters)|
|Beam: 84 feet (25.6 meters)|
|Draft: 21 feet (6.4 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 16,000 tons full load|
|Speed: 22 knots|
|Well deck capacity: four LCAC or 21 LCM-6 (on deck: one LCM-6, two LCPL and one LCVP)|
|Aircraft: none, but two landing spots allow for operation of aircraft as large as the CH-53E|
|Crew: Ship: 20 Officers, 25 Chief Petty Officers, 302 Enlisted|
|Marine Detachment: approx. 400 + approx. 100 surge|
|Armament: two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, two 25mm Mk-38 guns, six .50-calibre Machine guns, two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) systems|
|Cost: $149 million|
|Homeport: San Diego, CA|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS RUSHMORE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS RUSHMORE Cruise Books:
About the Ship's Coat of Arms:
The shield is dark blue and gold, the colors traditionally associated with the Navy, representing the sea and excellence. South Dakota, the location of the Mount Rushmore Memorial for which the ship is named, is referred to by the gold and celestine escutcheon, recalling the colors of the state flag. The three silver stars represent the battle stars awarded in World War II to LSD 14, the first USS RUSHMORE. The musket and cutlass symbolize traditional Navy values and the first amphibious operation conducted by the Navy and Marine Corps in Nassau in 1776 during the Revolutionary War. They are shown pointing down to denote nobility of purpose and restraint in the use of power, underscoring the motto. The alligator is the most powerful and traditional symbol of strength and versatility of amphibious warfare.
The mountain ridge in the crest symbolizes the Black Hills of western South Dakota, the location of the memorial. Two Black Hills Spruces, the South Dakota State tree, represent the two ships to bear the name RUSHMORE. A rope of gold and scarlet, the traditional colors of the Marine Corps, symbolizes the strong bond of the Navy-Marine Corps team and serves as a solid foundation for the mountain.
The motto "Nobility Power" is an excerpt from a speech made by the monumentís sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, on the occasion of its dedication and describes the memorialís tribute to the nobility and power of the four presidents depicted there.
History of USS RUSHMORE:
USS RUSHMORE is named after the Mount Rushmore National Monument in the black Hills of South Dakota. RUSHMORE was built by Avondale Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mrs. Meredith Brokaw, wife of NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw, christened the ship RUSHMORE May 6, 1989. Commissioning ceremonies where held on June 1, 1991 on the banks of the Mississippi River at the River Walk, New Orleans.
The ship's first assignment was to deliver three Air Cushioned Landing Craft (LCAC) to Camp Pendleton, California from Panama City, Florida. Along the way, RUSHMORE conducted a port visit in Jamaica, traversed the Panama Canal, and visited Rodman, Panama. Camp Pendleton was the last stop before arriving at her homeport of San Diego.
During her first six-month deployment, USS RUSHMORE spearheaded the beach landing on Somalia during OPERATION RESTORE HOPE, the largest military humanitarian operation in history. OPERATION RESTORE HOPE was designed to provide food and medical relief to the starving people of Somalia
RUSHMORE's 1994 WESTPAC deployment came almost one year ahead of schedule. She deployed with only four weeks notice and participated in relocation in Somalia, and exercises with forces of Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
RUSHMORE's most recent deployment followed a complete and highly successful training cycle during which RUSHMORE earned the Blue "E" and the Battle "E". This deployment provided numerous international training opportunities for the TARAWA Amphibious Ready Group and Thirteenth Marine Expeditionary Unit including COBRA GOLD '96 with Thailand, INFINITE MOONLIGHT with Jordan, RED REEF with Saudi Arabia, and MEUEX '96 with Kuwait. RUSHMORE demonstrated its superior adaptability throughout deployment by becoming the first LSD 41 class ship to employ Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS) for the SPECWAR Detachment.
RUSHMORE concluded 1996 with a port visit to Mazatlan, Mexico. The ship earned it's second consecutive Battle "E" in 1996.
Currently, RUSHMORE is the test platform for the "Smart Ship" program known as Gator 17. The ship has been outfitted with several new technologies to reduce workload and manning levels. Information from the program aboard RUSHMORE will be used to assist the design of the LPD 17 class amphibious ships. Installation was completed at the end of 1997.
RUSHMORE's 1999 deployment provided numerous international training opportunities for the PELELIU (LHA 5) Amphibious Readiness Group and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Operation IRON MAGIC with the United Arab Emirates and Exercise RED REEF with Saudi Arabia.
USS RUSHMORE Image Gallery:
The photo below was taken by Brian Barton and shows the RUSHMORE undergoing overhaul at San Diego on December 6, 2003.
The photos below were taken by Ian Johnson and show the RUSHMORE arriving at Fremantle, Australia, on October 16, 2007 marking the first time for USS RUSHMORE to visit Western Australia. At the time, RUSHMORE was assigned to the BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6) ESG.
The photos below were taken by me and show the RUSHMORE at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 10, 2008. The ship moored next to the RUSHMORE is the USS DENVER (LPD 9).
The photo below was taken by Thomas Heinrich and shows the RUSHMORE at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 21, 2009.
The photos below were taken by me and show the RUSHMORE arriving at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on October 2, 2011.
The photos below were taken by me and show the RUSHMORE at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on May 10, 2012.
The photos below were taken by Shiu On Yee during USS RUSHMORE's port visit to Hong Kong April 15-22, 2013. The RUSHMORE, along with USS PELELIU (LHA 5) and USS GREEN BAY (LPD 20), visited Hong Kong on their way home from the 5th Fleet area of operations. The three ships arrived in San Diego, Calif., on May 14 after being deployed for eight months.
The photos below were taken by Henry Schnutz on August 27, 2013, and show the RUSHMORE undergoing a 3 1/2-month Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA) at San Diego, Calif.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the RUSHMORE at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on December 27, 2014.