Photo: Two future US Navy ships transit Panama Canal

The future amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) and the future littoral combat ship USS Omaha (LCS 12) transit the Panama Canal. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy’s future amphibious dock landing ship USS Portland (LPD 27) and future littoral combat ship USS Omaha transited the Panama Canal on January 9 en route to their commissioning sites.

The two ships met up at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (NSGB) early January before continuing together towards the Panama Canal.

Both ships are set to enter service in April – Omaha (LCS 12) in San Diego, California, and Portland (LPD-27) in its namesake city in Oregon.

The 50-mile journey took the ships 11 hours to complete. The canal serves as passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and saves ships the 8,000-mile journey around South America.

The Panama Canal is made up of 12 locks, six of which are used by transiting ships. The flood and drain system allows ships to be raised over mountainous terrain over 85 feet when crossing from one ocean to the other. Ships are assisted by locomotives called “mules” that hold the ship centered in the locks.

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