SAN DIEGO - The Navy's first Afloat Forward Staging Base
(AFSB) variant of the Mobile Landing Platform, USNS Lewis B. Puller, delivered
to the Navy today. Built by General Dynamics NASSCO, delivery of the ship
follows a series of at-sea tests and trials in San Diego.
The Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) AFSB variant is optimized to
support a variety of maritime based missions with an added flight deck,
berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, and repair spaces.
"This ship represents a leap forward in flexible capability
for the U.S. Navy," said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift
program manager in Program Executive Office, Ships. "NASSCO was able to leverage
a mature design and hot production line to meet the Navy's requirements for an
AFSB platform while minimizing program cost and risk."
The MLP program is comprised of five ships across two variants
in support of the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) and an AFSB initiative.
USNS Montford Point (MLP 1) and USNS John Glenn (MLP 2) have delivered and are
in service. MLP 4, also an AFSB variant, is under construction and a fifth AFSB
ship is planned for procurement in fiscal year 2017.
MLPs are highly flexible platforms that provide logistics
movement from sea to shore supporting a broad range of military operations. The
AFSB variant is designed around four core capabilities: aviation, berthing,
equipment staging area, and command and control.
The MLP AFSB will primarily support Aviation Mine
Countermeasure and Special Operations missions. Additional features include a
large flight deck and hangar with two aviation operating spots capable of
handling MH-53E equivalent helicopters; berthing and messing accommodations;
work spaces, and ordnance storage for embarked force; enhanced command, control,
communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) to support embarked force
mission planning; and execution and reconfigurable mission deck area to store
embarked force equipment to include mine sleds and rigid hull inflatable boats
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition
organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and
procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support
ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets -
while balancing affordability and capability - is key to supporting the Navy's