RUSHMORE USS (LSD-47)

Built as a Dock Landing Ship (LSD) under yard No 2352 by Avondale Shipyards, Avondale for the USA Navy.
09 November 1987 laid down.
06 May 1989 launched as the USS RUSHMORE (LSD-47) one of the Whidbey Island class.
Displacement 10,560 ton standard, 15,165 ton full load, dim. 185.8 x 25.6 x 6.1m. (draught).
Powered by four Colt Industries, 16 cylinder diesel engines, 33,000 shp.,twin shafts, speed 20 knots.
Armament 2 – 25mm Mk 38 Mod 2 cannons, 2 – 20mm Phalans CIWS mounts. 2 – Rolling Airframe Missile. 6 – 0.5 inch (12.7mm) M2HB Machine guns.
Accommodation for a landing force of 27 officers, 375 enlisted and 102 surge.. Crew 22 officers and 391 enlisted.
Carried 4 LCAC or 3 Landing Craft Utility. On deck 1 RHIB with a length of 7 metre and 1 RHIB with a length of 11 metre and 1 LCPL.
Has two landing spots for helicopters but not a hangar.
01 June 1991 commissioned, based at the Naval Base at San Diego. Building cost $ 149 million.

USS RUSHMORE (LSD-47) is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was the second Navy ship to be named for the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She is the seventh ship in her class of dock landing ships and the fourth ship in that class to serve in the United States Pacific Fleet.
RUSHMORE (LSD-47) was laid down on 9 November 1987, by the Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans; launched on 6 May 1989, sponsored by Mrs. Meredith Brokaw, wife of NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw; and commissioned on 1 June 1991, at New Orleans.
Mission
The assigned mission of the dock landing ship is to transport and launch loaded amphibious craft and vehicles with their crews and embarked personnel in amphibious assaults by landing craft and amphibious vehicles. It can render limited docking repair service to small ships and craft.
General Comments
The Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship provides for greater storage space of weapons and equipment, improved facilities for embarked troops, greater range of operations, and the capability to embark either conventional landing craft or LCAC. The ships incorporate materiel handling equipment including elevators, package/roller conveyors and forklifts, pallet transporters, and a turntable. The turntable is located between the well deck and the helicopter deck forward of the boat deck to assist in the rapid turnaround of vehicles and equipment during loading/offloading operations.
History
1990s
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 NS San Diego. During her first six-month deployment, RUSHMORE spearheaded the beach landing on Somalia during Operation Restore Hope. The largest military humanitarian operation in history, 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 Operation Support Hope off the coast of Mombasa, Kenya, the USLO relocation in Somalia, and exercises with forces of Oman and the United Arab Emirates. During this deployment, RUSHMORE also was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation.
RUSHMORE's 1996 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 Readiness Group and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (13th MEU) including Exercise Cobra Gold '96 with Thailand, Exercise Infinite Moonlight with Jordan, Exercise 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 Mazatlán, Mexico. The ship earned its second consecutive Battle E in 1996.
RUSHMORE is the test platform for the Smart Ship program known as Gator 17. The ship was outfitted with several new technologies to reduce workload and manning levels. Information from the program aboard RUSHMORE will be used to assist in the design of the LPD-17 class amphibious ships. Installation was completed at the end of 1997
RUSHMORE deployed in 1999 with the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU). During this deployment, RUSHMORE participated in Exercise Iron Magic with the United Arab Emirates and Exercise Red Reef with Saudi Arabia. RUSHMORE also had the distinction of becoming the first United States Naval warship to visit Doha, Qatar in 10 years. Other port visits included Japan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Guam, Australia and Hawaii. On 12 March 1999, the ship made history when then Commander Michelle J. Howard (as of December 2013 she is the Vice Chief of Naval Operations and confirmed by the US Senate to the rank of Admiral (4 star rank) ) became its commanding officer and the first African American woman to Command a US Navy ship. RUSHMORE returned to San Diego in December 1999 and became the first "Smart Ship" to complete a six-month Western Pacific deployment.
2000s
With the new millennium, came a year of local operations for RUSHMORE.The Mighty RUSHMORE participated in CARAT 2001 in cooperation with our allies in the Western Pacific, South China Sea and Southeast Asia. Returning home just days prior to the September 11 attacks, The RUSHMORE began preparations to deploy to areas of national security interests. After coming out of "the yards" the USS RUSHMORE participated in RIMPAC 2002 with a host of nations off the shores of Hawaii. The ship set sail in the early month of January 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the USS Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
The ship deployed on 6 December 2004 once again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG 5). On the way to the Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami occurred, which would change the course of RUSHMORE and begin a massive U.S. military humanitarian operation, dubbed Operation Unified Assistance. The powerful tsunami that flooded parts of Southeast Asia took the lives of more than 100,000 people in a matter of hours. USS RUSHMORE and the elements of Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE were called into action.
The ship became an afloat staging base for military helicopters to refuel and transport supplies. USS RUSHMORE launched both LCACs bringing tons of food and water ashore for distribution to survivors. Once the operation ended, RUSHMORE reset a course to the Persian Gulf to support Maritime Security Operations, and help defend Iraq's Kwar Al Amaya and Al Basra Oil Platforms. The Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to Kuwait, and went further north into areas of Iraq before they were brought back on board in early April.
RUSHMORE sailors enjoyed two port visits during their two months in the Persian Gulf, one visit to the Mid-Eastern country of Bahrain, the other, a trip to the port of Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates. During the transit home, RUSHMORE stopped for a port visit to Cairns, Australia. RUSHMORE and her crew of more than 330 Sailors returned to the ship's homeport of San Diego, California on 6 June 2005.
The ship completed a three-month maintenance period and participated in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) off the coast of Hawaii from June to August 2006.
RUSHMORE began 2007...
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