The US Navy is set to decommission its last general-purpose Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), at Naval Base San Diego, US, on 31 March.
The vessel has served for nearly 35 years, including multiple deployments to the US 7th and 5th Fleet, humanitarian efforts and peacekeeping missions.
During its operational period, USS Peleliu participated in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
To date, it has conducted 17 deployments, 178,051 flight operations, served 57,983 personnel and steamed approximately 1,011,946nm since its inception on 3 May 1980.
The 820ft-long Tarawa-class vessel has a maximum cruising speed of 24k and can fire a coordinated air and sea attack from one platform.
Upon being decommissioned, USS Peleliu will be replaced by the America-class USS America (LHA 6) amphibious assault ship and then hauled to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, US, to join the navy’s reserve vessel fleet.
It will maintain an inactive reserve status and be tied up alongside USS Tarawa (LHA 1).
USS America is capable of executing sustained periods in transit and operations, including embarking, transporting, controlling, inserting, sustaining and extracting elements of a marine air-ground task force. It can also support forces through helicopters and tiltrotors held by F-35Bs.
Image: USS Peleliu will be decommissioned on 31 March. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.