US Navy decommissions dock landing ship Fort McHenry

The Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sumatra in 2005. The ship had just completed providing platform support for helicopter operations delivering disaster relief and humanitarian aid supplies in support of Operation Unified Assistance, the humanitarian operation effort in the wake of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in December 2004. (Photo: US Air Force/Technical Sergeant Scott Reed)

The US Navy formally decommissioned the dock landing ship (LSD) USS Fort McHenry in a ceremony at Naval Station Mayport in Florida on Saturday, March 27.

The third Whidbey Island-class LSD was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle and commissioned in 1987. It was initially homeported in San Diego and was later forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan.

Fort McHenry‘s numerous deployments in its more than 33 years of service included Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Vigilant Warrior, and Enduring Freedom as well as disaster relief support efforts in East Timor in 2001 and the Philippines and Indonesia in 2004.

The ship conducted maritime security patrols in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East during its final operational deployment, which concluded in July 2019.

The LSD will be inactivated on April 16, 2021, and will be designated as Out of Commission in Reserve (OCIR). That same day, it is scheduled to be towed by a seagoing tug to the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia.

Fort McHenry is the first Whidbey Island-class LSD to be retired from service.

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