Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy is christening its newest America-class amphibious assault ship as the USS Tripoli in a ceremony in Pascagoula, Miss., on Saturday.
"When USS Tripoli, the newest America-class amphibious assault ship, joins the fleet, we'll be a stronger, more flexible, and better Navy and Marine Corps team," Dee said in a statement.
"The ship will be a force multiplier, and her crew will proudly serve our country for decades to come. I am grateful to the men and women of Ingalls Shipbuilding for their dedication and to the citizens of Pascagoula for their unwavering support as we continue to make our Navy stronger."
LHA 7 will be the third ship in Navy history to bear the name Tripoli. The name refers to the U.S. victory in the Battle of Derna in Libya during the First Barbary War. A protection racket targeting U.S. and other countries shipping by the Barbary pirates led to the United States' first foreign intervention. The line in the Marines' Hymn, "to the shores of Tripoli," refers to the campaign.
The Tripoli is an enlarged version of the America-class of amphibious assault ships. It is 844 feet long, displaces 45,000 tons and has larger hangars and storage capacity for aircraft and helicopters.
The Marine Corps is expected to deploy their vertical take-off and landing version of the F-35 Lightning II on the ship in the future.