DECEMBER 5, 2012 — Lyn Glenn, daughter of astronaut John Glenn, and Mrs. Helen L. Toolan, wife of Lieutenant General John A. Toolan, Jr., Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force, were the honorees at a keel laying ceremony for the second Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship today. The ceremony was held at General Dynamics NASSCO's San Diego shipbuilding facility where the two honorees validated the MLP ship's keel by welding their initials onto a steel plate. The steel plate on which their initials are welded will be permanently affixed to the ship's keel, remaining with the vessel throughout its time in service.
Mrs. Helen L. Toolan (left), and Ms. Lyn Glenn, (right)
Delivery of the second MLP ship is scheduled for first quarter 2014. This second MLP ship will be named John Glenn, in honor of John Herschel Glenn, Jr., the former U.S. Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and U.S. senator. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space.
"Laying the keel of this second Mobile Landing Platform and finishing construction of the first ship are the latest milestones in this successful shipbuilding program," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "These events serve as evidence of the NASSCO team building and delivering MLP ships efficiently, in support of U.S. Navy efforts to maintain a forward presence."
The MLP is a flexible platform that will provide capability for large scale logistics movements such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. It will significantly reduce dependency on foreign ports and provide support in the absence of any port, making it especially useful during disaster response and for supporting Marines once they are ashore. The MLP in its basic form possesses a core capability set that supports a vehicle staging area, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three landing craft air cushioned vessel (LCAC) lanes.