The U.S. Navy has commissioned the USS Tripoli or LHA 7 amphibious assault ship without a traditional large ceremony due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship, third of its name, is now part of the naval force and has begun normal operations, the Navy said Wednesday.
“This ship will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge in this era of renewed great power competition," Kenneth Braithwaite, secretary of the Navy.
USS Tripoli features a larger hangar deck, expanded facilities for aircraft maintenance, boosted aircraft fuel capacity and more equipment storage to better accommodate aviation needs.
The newly commissioned America-class LHA is also geared to operate with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and other aircraft to be used by the U.S. Marine Corps in the future.
Huntington Ingalls Industries christened the ship in 2017. The Navy is still considering a future celebratory event to commemorate USS Tripoli's fleet entry.