The U.S. Navy has prepared three ships–the USS Carter Hall, the USS Wasp, and the USS Mesa Verde–to be deployed to the shores New York and New Jersey, if Governors Cuomo and Christie ask the Navy for help in dealing with the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In the interest of getting to know our potential new naval neighbors, here are some quick specs for the vessels.
The Carter Hall is a dock landing ship designed to deploy helicopters, airplanes, and amphibious vehicles. As a veteran of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, it’s no stranger to emergency service, and at 609 feet in length and with an 84-foot beam, the Carter Hall displaces a whopping 16,708 tons with a full load of cargo. The ship is capable of servicing any helicopter in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory, and it has the kinda-awesome-kinda-terrifying motto, “Working for peace, ready for war!”
At 844 feet and with an 106-foot beam, the USS Wasp is the largest of the three ships. It was launched in 1987, and since then, it’s served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and as an emergency service ship during Hurricane Felix in Nicaragua. The Wasp’s steam propulsion plants generate a staggering 70,000 horsepower, and as an amphibious assault ship, it’s outfitted with a full bevy of machine guns, cannons, and missiles.
The Mesa Verde is an “amphibious transport dock” ship launched in 2004. As with other ships of its type, its main purpose is the hauling and deploying of troops in amphibious military operations, but it’s also capable of launching and landing helicopters. John P. Pienkowski, Mesa Verde’s commanding officer, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Navy Commendation Medal. The ship was named for Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park.