Largest city of Louisiana, New Orleans was the scene of Andrew Jackson's great victory at the close of the War of 1812, in which small naval forces under Commodore David Patterson played a large role; and of a key naval action in the Civil War, in which Admiral David Farragut opened the southern Mississippi River to Union forces.
(LPD-18: 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 recover 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)
New Orleans (LPD-18), the fourth ship by that name in the United States Navy, was laid down 14 October 2002 at Avondale, La. By Northrop Grumman Ship Systems; christened on 20 November 2004, the ship was launched on 11 December 2004; sponsored by Ms. Carolyn Shelton, the wife of General Henry H. Shelton, former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; and commissioned at New Orleans, La. on 10 March 2007, Cmdr. John B. (Brad) Skillman in command.
Per bend Azure and Vert, on a bend Argent three fleur-de-lis of the first between an anchor fouled and Marine Corps insignia Or; on a chief embattled of the like eighteen mullets in three rows, five, eight and five of the first. Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the U.S. Navy. Green and blue, representing land and sea areas of operation, highlight the amphibious mission of New Orleans. The battlements symbolize defense and highlight the City of New Orleans being the site of Andrew Jackson's victory in the War of 1812. The eagle with the globe and anchor refers to the U.S. Marine Corps insignia and reflects the Marine Corps' role in executing LPD 18's expeditionary missions. The fouled anchor is taken from the Chief Petty Officer collar insignia and represents the sailor's role in the Navy and LPD-18. The eighteen stars represent Louisiana being the 18th state to join the Union.
Issuing from a wreath Argent and Azure, a terrestrial demi-globe supporting an alligator of the first superimposed in base by Navy and Marine Corps swords saltirewise points down Proper. The crossed Navy sword and Marine Corps Mameluke symbolize combat readiness and the teamwork between the Navy and Marine Corps. The white alligator is unique to the City of New Orleans and emphasizes the amphibious nature of New Orleans' mission to embark, transport and land elements of a landing force. The globe underscores the world wide mission of the ship.
Two traditional cannon barrels saltirewise Proper. The cannons recall New Orleans' heritage and Andrew Jackson's defense of the city.
On a scroll with the ends behind the cannon barrels Argent fimbriated Azure and doubled Or the words "VICTORY FROM THE SEA" of the second.
New Orleans glides past the city of New Orleans on the Mississippi River. The ship is heading to the Gulf of Mexico to conduct builders trials. (Sam Shore; U.S. Navy Photograph 061023-N-0857S-003; 23 October 2006; Navy.mil Photos)
Sailors assigned to New Orleans man the ship and bring her to life during the ship's commissioning ceremony on 10 March 2007. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen; U.S. Navy Photograph 070310-N-3429E-003; 10 March 2007; Navy.mil Photos.)
New Orleans stands pierside at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., during San Diego Fleet Week 2007. Also present are aircraft carrier Nimitz (CVN-78) on the left and guided missile cruiser Chancellorsville (CG-62) in the background. San Diego Fleet Week is an annual tribute to the men and women serving in the nation's sea services. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Brannon, U.S. Navy Photograph 071007-N-1159B-112, 7 October 2007, Navy.mil Photos.
New Orleans and submarine Hartford (SSN-768), Cmdr. Ryan Brookhart in command, collided in the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 0100 on 20 March 2009. The collision ruptured one of New Orleans' fuel tanks, tearing a 16 by 18 foot hole and spilling about 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel marine into the water. Aircraft that flew patrols into the following day failed to spot any of the oil on the surface, however, because the currents and winds contributed to dissipating the fuel. Some interior damage also occurred to two of her ballast tanks. Both vessels returned to Mina Salman pier at Bahrain under their own power on 21 March.
New Orleans pulls into Mina Salman pier in Bahrain where U.S. Navy engineers and inspection teams assessed and evaluated the damage resulting from the collision with the Los-Angeles-class attack submarine Hartford (SSN-768) in the Strait of Hormuz. (Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class David K. Simmons; US Navy Photograph 090321-N-8053S-130; 21 March 21 2009.)
New Orleans (LPD 18), and other embarked units of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5 arrived in Balboa, Panama, on 20 August 2010. This was the final stop in support of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station (A-SPS) 2010, the amphibious portion of Southern Partnership Station, which is the deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean. A-SPS's primary goal is mission-focused information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region. The port visit to Panama marked the end of a three-month deployment in support of USSOUTHCOM's goals of ensuring theater security, enhancing regional stability and strengthening relationships. The ship also visited Manzanillo, Mexico; Lima, Peru; and Bahia Malaga, Colombia.
In May 2013 New Orleans was underway conducting pre-deployment certification in preparation for duty in the U.S. 5th Fleet and U.S. 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
New Orleans) fires a surface to air intercept missile from its Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher while off the coast of California during a live-fire exercise. (Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician Suzanne Whitman; U.S. Navy Photograph 130521-N-XX999-001; 21 May 2013; Navy.mil Photos.)
In September 2015 New Orleans participated in Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015 (DB-15) in the Pacific Ocean. DB-15 is a scenario-driven exercise designed to train the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in operations expected of an amphibious task force while also building U.S. and coalition operational interoperability. The exercise tested staffs in the planning and execution of amphibious operations in a series of live training events at sea and ashore.
Amphibious assault vehicles depart the well deck of New Orleans during Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015. (Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Cyr; U.S. Navy Photograph 150903-N-WK391-070; 3 September 2015; Navy.mil Photos)
Boatswain's Mate Seaman Elana Hunter signals amphibious assault vehicles to launch from the well deck of New Orleans during Dawn Blitz 2015. (Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Cyr; U.S. Navy Photograph 150905-N-WK391-020; 5 September 2015; Navy.mil Photos.)
Detailed history pending.
Christopher B. Havern Sr.
30 September 2015