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Anchorage (LPD 23)

The first and second ships of the name honor the city in Alaska, founded in 1914 at the head of Cook Inlet, a bay of the Pacific Ocean.


(LPD 23: displacement 25,883; length 684'; beam 105'; draft 23'; speed 22+ knots; complement 396, troop capacity 699 (800+ surge); armament 2 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, 2 Bushmaster II 30 millimeter Close-in Guns, and 10 .50 caliber machine guns; aircraft launch or land 2 Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallions, or 2 Bell Boeing MV-22B Ospreys, or up to 4 Boeing-Vertol CH-46 Sea Knights, Bell AH-1Z Vipers, or Bell UH-1Y Venoms; class San Antonio)

The second Anchorage (LPD 23) was laid down on 24 September 2007 at Avondale, La., by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Avondale Operations; launched on 12 February 2011; sponsored by Mrs. Annette Conway, wife of Gen. James T. Conway, USMC (Ret.) former Commandant of the Marine Corps; and commissioned on 4 May 2013, Cmdr. Joel G. Stewart in command.

U.S. Navy Photograph 130326-N-BM466-033Shield
Per pile transposed Azure and Gules, two fouled anchors in saltire Or, entwined rope Argent. The shield is shaped like the patch worn by the crew of the first Anchorage (LSD 36). The two colors of the shield, Scarlet and Navy Blue, represent the teamwork demonstrated between marines and sailors on board. The transposed pile symbolizes the ship’s ability to transport a landing force of up to 800 marines in support of any operational contingency. The crossed fouled anchors derive from the anchor in the seal of the municipality of Anchorage and also identify this as the second ship named Anchorage. The entwined rope, which forms the letter "A," represents the families of Anchorage’s sailors and marines.

From a wreath Or and Azure, between two moose antlers a pictorial of British sloop HMS Resolution sailing into Cook Inlet, all below six arched stars Gules. The municipality of Anchorage is represented in the crest by HMS Resolution (another feature from the municipality’s seal) in a pictorial of Cook Inlet. Capt. James Cook commanded Resolution, and the inlet is named in his honor, and figures prominently in the heritage of Anchorage, Alaska. The moose antlers framing the pictorial represent the municipality’s motto: “Big Wild Life.” The six red battle stars recognize the wartime accomplishments of the first ship named to honor Anchorage, LSD 36.

From sprigs of spruce Vert overall, a scroll Argent piped Azure and inscribed “NIL FATO RELINQUEMUS” Gules, translated in English as “We Leave Nothing to Chance.”

Behind the shield in saltire, four swords, two and two, a Navy officer sword and chief petty officer cutlass to dexter; and a Marine Corps officer sword and non-commissioned officer sword to sinister, points downward Proper. The crossed Navy officer sword and chief petty officer cutlass and Marine Corps officer and non-commissioned officer swords symbolize the teamwork of the ship’s Navy-Marine Corps war fighting team.

The coat of arms as blazoned in full color upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with a gold rope bearing the inscription “USS ANCHORAGE” at top and in base “LPD 23” in gold letters.

The scroll hangs from sprigs from a Sitka Spruce tree, the official tree of Alaska. Red, white, and blue are the national colors and denote the allegiance that Marine Corps and Navy servicemen and women have for their country.

U.S.  Navy Photograph 120515-N-ZZ999-101
Anchorage answers her helm as she careens through turns during the ship’s builder’s trials in the Gulf of Mexico, 15 May 2012. (Arif Patani, U.S. Navy Photograph 120515-N-ZZ999-101, Navy Go Live)
U.S. Navy Photograph 130326-N-BM466-033
The ship fires a RIM-116 Rolling Air Frame (RAM) missile as part of her combat systems certification off the coast of southern California, 26 March 2013. (Photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 2d Class Kristopher Regan, U.S. Navy Photograph 130326-N-BM466-033, Navy News Stand)
photo of an MV-22B Osprey
An MV-22B Osprey of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 flies out to meet Anchorage while the ship holds public tours at Anchorage, Alaska, 30 April 2013. (Department of Defense Photograph by Sgt. Frances Johnson, USMC, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System)

Anchorage completed her maiden voyage from Avondale to San Diego, Calif., in preparation for her commissioning (30 October–21 November 2012). The ship, also known as Pre-Commissioning Unit Anchorage, passed through the Panama Canal (9 November) and visited La Manzanilla, Mexico, before reaching her new home port. From San Diego, she sailed to Anchorage, Alaska, for her commissioning -- which occurred amidst falling snow -- and then returned to San Diego.

Detailed history under construction.

Last Edited: 11/22/13
Mark L. Evans