General Dynamics NASSCO Marks Keel Laying of First Mobile Landing Platform Ship

SAN DIEGO – Today General Dynamics NASSCO hosted akeel laying ceremony for the first Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship at thecompany’s shipyard in San Diego. Mrs. Pat Mills was the honoree for theceremony. She is the wife of U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Richard P.Mills, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration.

Mrs. Mills validatedthe keel laying by welding her initials into the ship’s structure. The steelplate with her initials will be permanently affixed to the ship’s keel,remaining with the vessel throughout its time in service.

Delivery of thefirst MLP ship is scheduled for May 2013. The 765-foot long ship will be usedas staging areas for the Navy and Marines. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabusrecently announced that this first MLP ship will be named Montford Point, for the North Carolina facility where 20,000African American Marines were trained over seven years, starting in 1942.

“In today’s challenging fiscal environmentshipbuilder’s must continue to provide our Navy customer with competitivepricing and fair value,” said FredHarris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “With the Mobile LandingPlatform, NASSCO is meeting that challenge once again. The Navy and Marineswill be getting a ship with significant capability at approximately one-thirdthe cost of the Navy’s original plan.”

One initiativethat NASSCO employed with this ship was to incorporate a “design-build”approach into all phases of design and planning development. The “design-build”approach included the assignment of the company’s most experienced shipbuilderswithin functional engineering and detail design teams. These teams played animportant role in developing build strategy initiatives that are improving theship’s readiness for construction, making MLP among the most producible designsin NASSCO’s history.

Once deliveredto the fleet, MLP ships will join the three Maritime Prepositioning Force squadronsthat are strategically located around the world to enable rapid response in acrisis. MLP vessels will change the way the Maritime Prepositioning Forceoperates, providing a “pier at sea,” that will become the core of theNavy/Marine Corps sea basing concept. This capability will allow prepositioningships to offload equipment and supplies to the MLP for transshipment to shoreby other vessels.

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