Navy's newest amphibious assault ship arrives in San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Navy's newest amphibious assault ship arrives in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, the USS America, arrived at its home port of San Diego Monday.

The Navy took delivery of the 844-foot-long ship five months ago, and it has been touring South America on its way to California.

The vessel visited Peru last week, and also stopped in Colombia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Brazil and Chile.

"Throughout this maiden transit, the crew has far exceeded what the expectations typically are for a ship in this phase," said Capt. Robert Hall Jr., America's commanding officer. "From (community service) projects to meaningful exchanges with various countries, everyone on this journey has contributed to something much greater than the ship. They have contributed to the strong bond that exists between the U.S. Navy and navies throughout South America."

The America, which has a crew of 1,100 and can carry up to 1,500 Marines, will prepare for commissioning after arriving in San Diego. A formal commissioning ceremony is set for Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

The America is the first ship of its class, which will replace the older Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships. It will not only carry Marines, but also the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey aircraft and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

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