CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
North Carolina Marines from several units recently joined to form Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 26. SPMAGTF-26 is scheduled to board the ship that will become USS New York, Oct. 29. The ship and embarked Marines will sail to New York City for the ship’s commissioning, Nov. 7, where it will be designated USS New York.
USS New York holds particular significance to the people of New York with 7 1/2 tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center forged into her bow. The ship also honors the memory of those who lost their lives during the unprovoked attacks of 9/11.
The 260 Marines who make up SPMAGTF-26 represent Marine Corps expeditionary forces that will deploy aboard USS New York in the future.
The ship and Marines will arrive in New York City, Nov. 2. During its approximate two weeks in New York, the ship will be open for public tours where the embarked Marines will showcase their equipment and interact with visitors.
USS New York will be the Navy’s newest Landing Platform Dock, a class of ship designed to embark Marine Corps units who can execute a wide range of missions. Improvements to this class of ship include a larger flight deck with an on-deck hanger, larger well deck for amphibious operations, enhancements to troop berthing and other areas. These advancements are designed to allow embarked Marines to prepare for and conduct operations more quickly and efficiently then previous versions of the LPD.
The flight deck will be capable of launching up to two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft simultaneously. It can also serve as the launch point for Marine CH-53E Super Stallion, UH-1N Huey and AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters. The well deck is capable of supporting two Landing Craft Air Cushioned as well as the traditional Landing Craft Utility and Marine amphibious craft. The vehicle stowage areas offer more space and maneuverability for Marine land vehicles like the M1A1 Abrams tank, and others.
The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit command element provided the majority of the unit’s members assigned to show case the Marine Corps’ future role on the ship.
The Aviation element will showcase Marine air assets capable of launching from USS New York. It is comprised of pilots, crew and support Marines for CH-46E, CH-53E, AH-1W, UH-1N and MV-22 Osprey aircraft, which come from II and IV Marine Air Wing. II MAW is providing a majority of support with aircraft from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29. IV MAW is providing aircraft from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 774.
The Ground Combat Element will highlight infantry assets able to deploy from USS New York. It contains conventional infantry reinforced with light armored vehicles, tanks, artillery, combat engineers and amphibious assault vehicles. 2nd Marine Division is providing support with elements from 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, who are augmented by elements of F Battery, 2nd Battalion, 12 Marine Regiment; 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion; 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion; and 2nd Tank Battalion.
At the conclusion of the event, the Marines will return to their parent units aboard Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Stations Cherry Point and New River.