The sixth U.S. Navy ship named for New York, the 11th of the original 13 states, which ratified the Constitution on 26 July 1788.
(LPD-21: 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)
The sixth New York (LPD-21) was laid down on 30 August 2004 at Avondale, La., by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Avondale Operations; launched on 20 December 2007; sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy England, wife of Secretary of Defense Gordon R. England; and commissioned at New York City on 7 November 2009, Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones in command.
Dark blue and gold, the colors traditionally associated with the Navy, represent the sea and excellence. The red is for sacrifice and valor and the white recalls purity of purpose. The gray chevron and two vertical bars represent the bow of New York and the Twin Towers, respectively. They are conjoined to emphasize the using of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center to construct the bow of the ship. The phoenix rising personifies the hope and determination of Americans to rebuild and regroup to fight terrorism. The shield on the phoenix’s breast honors the New York City Fire department, New York City Police Department, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Red is for the Fire Department, the dark blue is the traditional blue for the Police Department, and the Celeste is taken from the patch of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Celeste also alludes to coastal waters and the port of New York. The red drops represent bloodshed and the ultimate sacrifice made by the men and women of 9/11. The stars commemorate the three battle stars that battleship New York (BB-34) earned in World War II. The border of the shield is adapted from the state of New York’s seal.
The mountains, lake, and sun rays highlight the state of New York, and are adapted from the state seal and highlight beauty and the heritage of the state. The seven rays represent the number of rays on the Statue of Liberty’s Crown. They symbolize the seven seas and continents of the world, and also suggest a direct connection to the littoral missions of New York anywhere in the world. The sugar maple is the state tree of New York.
The crossed Navy chief petty officer cutlass and Marine Corps noncommissioned officer sword symbolize the teamwork of the Navy-Marine war fighting team of New York. The enlisted swords further highlight the enlisted Marines and Sailors as the back bone of the armed forces.
A remnant of steel from the World Trade Center was incorporated into the bow of New York in honor of the victims of the Al Qaeda terrorist attack on 9/11. The ship’s missions can potentially include: amphibious warfare; join command and control; humanitarian operations; and deployment as a hospital ship.
Bearings in New York’s main propulsion diesel engines failed during a week of sea trials in November 2009. On 11 January 2010, the Navy announced that New York required repairs for faulty engine parts, which were subsequently completed.
Amphibious transport dock San Antonio (LPD-17) (left) and New York (right) carry out ship handling drills during San Antonio’s second phase of sea trials in the Atlantic, 9 June 2011. A Seahawk hovers over San Antonio’s flight deck. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Edwin F. Bryan, U.S. Navy Photograph 110609-N-VL218-336, Navy NewsStand)
The ship made her first deployment when she sailed in company with amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima (LHD-7) and dock landing ship Gunston Hall (LSD-44) to the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, and Indian Ocean (27 March–20 December 2012). The group embarked the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) – 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.
New York carried out inter-operability training with Army Boeing AH-64 Apaches in the Arabian Gulf (20–23 June 2012), and, additionally, increased her tactical awareness overall while acting as the sector air defender for the North Arabian Gulf. The crew took a much needed break for a steel beach picnic the following day, but at 0817 on 24 June received a call from Fifth Fleet, stating that the Kuwaiti Coast Guard requested assistance in searching for a man who had been stranded on a disabled jet ski for more than 20 hours.
While New York made for the last known position of the jet skier, BM3 Lee Domingo, her aft lookout, spotted the stranded Kuwaiti approximately 16 miles from the suspected location. Domingo relayed the position of the person to the officer of the deck who then put word out for the ship to make preparations for the rescue. Once on the scene, New York launched a rigid-hull inflatable boat, with search and rescue swimmers on board, to render aid. After the person received first aid for dehydration, the Kuwaiti and his craft was transferred to a Kuwaiti coast guard vessel in the area.
“I could not be more impressed with the response of everybody aboard New York this morning,” Capt. Jon C. Kreitz, New York’s commanding officer said. “It started with the folks in combat [Combat Information Center], coordinating closely with the bridge team, and we would not have found the person without the lookouts doing what they do so well. The end result is, we probably saved his life.”
New York (right) steams in formation with guided missile cruiser Cape St. George (CG-71) (left) and aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) (center) in the Arabian Sea. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby Neal, U.S. Navy Photograph 120609-N-YL945-859, Navy NewsStand)
New York shifted her home port from Norfolk, Va., to Mayport, Fla., on 6 December 2013. The ship continued her busy cycle of training and preparation for deployment, and tested an Insitu (Boeing) RQ-21A Blackjack Small Tactical Unmanned Air System while at sea off Jacksonville, Fla. (5–6 February 2014). That June, the ship surge deployed with only 48-hours-notice to support a special operations task force during a counter narcotics mission.
The ship deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group to the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, and Indian Ocean (11 December 2014–19 July 2015). The group, which also comprised Fort McHenry (LSD-43) in lieu of Gunston Hall, embarked the 24th MEU. New York steamed more than 15,000 nautical miles, supported 2,646 flights totaling more than 30,400 flight hours, and visited Haifa, Israel; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Manama, Bahrain; Muscat, Oman; Aqaba, Jordan; and Marseille, France.
The ship assisted victims of Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys (11–19 September 2017), after the tempest carved a wide swath of destruction across that area. New York reached the area exactly 16 years to the day after 9/11, and the following day began her recovery efforts.
“This is the worst I have ever seen my hometown after a hurricane,” AO2 Gabrielle Young, from Key West and assigned to Iwo Jima, reflected. “My family and I evacuated for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma. We had to live in a FEMA trailer for two weeks following Wilma, but still it was not this bad here.”
“Seeing how grateful people were to receive basic necessities like food and water made me feel grateful for all of the small things in life I have,” NC1 Stephanie Biggs, of Phoenix, Ariz., a member of the ship’s company, said. “They were just grateful for our presence. It gave me a better understanding how fast things we take for granted can be taken away in the blink of an eye.”
Additional commands that supported the humanitarian relief operations under the command of Carrier Strike Group 10 included Abraham Lincoln; Iwo Jima; San Jacinto (CG-56); Amphibious Squadron 4; Explosive Ordinance Disposal Group 2; Tactical Air Control Squadron 22; Fleet Surgical Team 8; 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit; Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461; Marine Air Control Group 28; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28; Fleet Survey Team; Beach Master Unit 2; Naval Beach Group 2; Amphibious Construction Battalion 2; Assault Craft Unit 2; and Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 Detachment Jacksonville. The sailors and marines helped people while National Guardsmen and representatives from FEMA established long-term relief efforts, and on the 17th began to return to their respective stations.