The USS America, the U.S. Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, will visit the port of Valparaiso in August. The ship is its maiden voyage from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to its future homeport in San Diego, California.
On this trip, the USS America will visit several countries in addition to Chile, including Colombia and Brazil. It will enter Chilean waters through the Strait of Magellan, where it will spend one night anchored off of Punta Arenas before continuing the trip northward. During the visit to Valparaíso, the ship’s leaders will pay calls on local authorities and their counterparts in the Chilean Navy, while its crew participates in an array of community relations projects and experiences Chile’s culture and learns about its rich history.
This visit is a showcase of the close relations and shared confidence that our navies have enjoyed over the years. As strategic partners, Chile and the United States have worked together on a range of regional security issues with increasing regularity and effectiveness, especially in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training programs. We look forward to continued growth in this partnership.
The USS America is a big-deck amphibious assault ship. It is the first of the new America class, replacing the older Tarawa class vessels. The ship measures approximately 257 meters long and 57 meters wide at its flight deck. The ship is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey, which combines the advantages of a helicopter – vertical take-off and landing – and stationary flight, with those of an airplane, which are velocity and flight autonomy. The America carries a complement of more than 1,400 Sailors and Marines. Its increased hangar capacity, both in size and height, to support the new generation MV-22’s, and its additional features give the ship a unique capacity to support amphibious assault operations as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions.