U.S. Navy’s amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) pulled into Pearl Harbor on July 14 for its first scheduled port visit of the 2017 deployment.
The ship’s arrival at its namesake location marks the first time Pearl Harbor has visited Hawaii since completing Pacific Partnership in 2013, followed by a nearly two-and-a-half-year long maintenance period.
“It is only fitting that our first port visit after a major overhaul and work-up period should be to our namesake, Pearl Harbor,” said Cmdr. Theodore Essenfeld, Pearl Harbor’s commanding officer. “After a 25-month extended docking phased maintenance availability and a year of extensive training and certifications, Pearl Harbor has essentially been resurrected from the ship she was in 2013.”
The ship is arriving with various defense capabilities in its arsenal, to include .50-caliber Browning machine gun mounts, Phalanx Close-in Weapons Systems, Rolling Airframe Missiles, and more.
“If you look at the phoenix rising on our ship’s crest, memorializing the rising of our fleet to power after the devastating attack of Dec. 7, 1941, you can see how appropriate the symbolism is for us now,” said Essenfeld. “We’re not a new ship, but we feel like one. With all new systems, new capabilities, a new crew, it’s like the ship is reborn and the crew is ready to flex their muscles, ready to do our nation’s bidding. We’re not looking for a fight, but we’re ready for one if called upon.”
After visiting Hawaii, Pearl Harbor will continue on her scheduled deployment as a part of the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
The America ARG consists of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22), and Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and more than 2,500 Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.