San Diego is home to a large number of the Pacific Fleet's ships. For decades our nation's sailors and Marines have begun their service to America at boot camps in San Diego. Thousands of military families and veterans have fallen in love with the area, and are fortunate enough to live and work in San Diego. USS San Diego will project American power to the far corners of the earth and support the cause of freedom well into the 21st century. – Former United States Security of the Navy Gordon R. England.

The city of San Diego has had a long history with the U.S. Navy. With the establishment of a Navy repair base in 1921, the city welcomed the west coast ship repair facility and USS Prairie. In 1922, acting Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt Jr. established the U.S. Destroyer Base, San Diego. Over the years, the base was renamed and expanded multiple times, adding various training schools.

The base proved crucial during and following World War II. In the 1990s, U.S. Pacific Fleet stationed the majority of its ships in San Diego and realigned under Commander, Navy Region Southwest. Today, the triad of bases in the San Diego area, Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island, and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, have made the San Diego area one of the largest U.S. naval concentration areas in the world.

Throughout the years, the city has embraced and supported Navy ships and Sailors. A total of three ships in the past have had the privilege of bearing the name San Diego. USS San Diego (ARC 6) served from 1907 to 1918. USS San Diego (CL 53) served during World War II from 1942 to 1945. A memorial to CL 53 and her crew is located in downtown San Diego. USS San Diego (AFS 6) had a long career from 1969 to 1993.

Following in this long line of superior faithful service will be USS San Diego (LPD 22), Unlike her predecessors, LPD 22 will have the honor and privilege to call San Diego her home port. The crew of San Diego is well aware of the long standing connection to the city, notable in the design of the ship’s crest, or coat of arms.

LPD 22 offers the latest in technology, making her the most advanced amphibious ship in the world. LPD 22 is the sixth ship in the San Antonio class of landing platform dock amphibious ships. Her specialty is the transportation and support of Marine landing forces. The unique design of amphibious ships allow them to use air ballast tanks to raise and lower the back of the ship, flooding a welldeck area and providing a mobile landing dock to launch and recover amphibious assault craft.

Like their ship, the crew of LPD 22 is the best the Navy has to offer. They are highly trained professionals with a strong sense of tradition and heritage. Many crewmembers sought out duty on Committee the newest USS San Diego because of their love for the city.

Commissioning of the USS SAN DIEGO (LPD-22) will take place at 10 AM, Saturday, May 19th 2012 at the Navy Pier across from the Midway Museum at the foot of Broadway. The commissioning ceremony is the most important event in the life of the ship as the U. S. Navy formally accepts her as an operating unit of the U. S. Fleet. Commissioning is the culmination of years of design and construction and countless hours of training and preparation on the part of the ship’s crew. The commissioning ceremony is open to the public so the crew can share the joy and pride in their new ship with the citizens of San Diego.

LDP 22’s Characteristics

Class and Type:

San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock


25,000 tons full


208.5 m (684 ft) overall
201.4 m (661 ft) waterline


31.9 m (105 ft) extreme
29.5 m (97 ft) waterline


7 m (23 ft)


Four Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, two shafts, 40,000 hp (30 MW)


22 knots (41 km/h)

Boats and landing craft carried:

Two LCACs (air cushion) or one LCU (conventional)


699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge to 800 total.


28 officers, 333 enlisted


Two 30 mm Bushmaster II cannons, for surface threat defense
Two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers for air defense

Aircraft Carried:

Four (4) CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two (2) MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft which may be launched or recovered simultaneously.


For further reading on San Diego’s rich naval history you might enjoy the following articles:

“San Diego’s Naval Militia”
“I Like the Cut of Your Jib: Cultures of Accommodation Between the U.S. Navy and Citizens of San Diego California, 1900-1951”

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