The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

March 1, 2014

Ship touted for diversity

PHILADELPHIA — USS Somerset will save lives.

The ship, which was commissioned Saturday morning at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia is, first, a U.S. Navy vessel that will take sailors and U.S. Marines into military situations. But it has a humanitarian mission, too. When disasters strike, the 684-foot-long San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock will offer relief to those in need.

“When tragedies happen around the world, this will be the kind of ship that will go in there and help our friends and allies around the world if a natural disaster occurs,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, whose 9th Congressional District includes part of Somerset County.

The ship can move approximately 1,000 people. There is a state-of-the-art medical facility on board. Helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft can land and take off from its deck.

“It’s actually an extraordinary ship, and there’s no class of ships anywhere in the world that can rival it for the diversity, the range of capabilities that it brings,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

LPD-25 was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries, a spinoff of Northrop Grumman, which received the original construction contract. It was the last vessel scheduled to be manufactured at the Avondale shipyard in Louisiana.

“It’s bittersweet and prideful,” said Irwin F. Edenzon, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding.

The company constructed the USS Somerset’s two sister ships, USS New York and USS Arlington.

“It’s the best one we’ve built yet,” said Wayne Davis, the USS Somerset’s program manager.

The three vessels were named after the locations hit by planes during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. USS Somerset honors the county where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed when passengers and crew members fought back against al-Qaida hijackers.

“This ship, with not only its wartime uses, but its humanitarian uses will serve for years to come as a living memorial to those who died in a barren field in Somerset County,” said Somerset County Commissioner John Vatavuk.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Fire1.JPG Neighbors rouse residents from West End fire

    Vincent Freedman was asleep in a duplex in Johnstown’s West End early Monday when he was awakened by pounding on the door.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • mundys corner wreck 22 Motorcyclist injured on Rt. 271 in Mundys Corner

    An accident reconstruction team was brought in to process a crash scene involving a motorcycle and tri-axle truck on Route 271, investigators said.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Pennsylvania sees 3rd rating downgrade in 2 years

    New York-based credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service is slapping a lower rating on Pennsylvania’s debt for the second time in two years, as state government grapples annually with built-in budget deficits.

    July 21, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads