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USS Ashland (LSD-48)
USS Ashland (LSD-48)
Name: USS Ashland
Namesake: Ashland
Ordered: 11 December 1985
Laid down: 4 April 1988
Launched: 11 November 1989
Commissioned: 9 May 1992
Homeport: Sasebo, Japan
Motto: Deliver Liberty, Defend Freedom
Status: in active service, as of 2022
Badge: Ashland Crest
General characteristics
Displacement: 11,149 tons (light)
16,883 tons (full)
Length: 610 ft (190 m)
Beam: 84 ft (26 m)
Draft: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 Colt Industries, 16-cylinder diesel engines, 2 shafts, 33,000 shp (25 MW)
Speed: 20+ knots (37+ km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
4 LCACs or 21 LCM-6 or up to 36 Amphibious Assault Vehicles AAV
Capacity: on deck: one LCM-6, two LCPL and one LCVP
Troops: Marine detachment: 402 + 102 surge
Complement: 22 officers, 391 enlisted
Armament: 2 × 25 mm Mk 38 cannons
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts
2 × Rolling Airframe Missile
6 × .50 caliber M2HB machine guns

USS Ashland (LSD-48) is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was the second Navy ship to be named for Ashland, the home of Henry Clay, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ashland was laid down on 4 April 1988, by the Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La.; launched and christened on 11 November 1989, sponsored by Mrs. Kathleen Foley, wife of Admiral Sylvester R. Foley, Jr. (Ret.); and commissioned on 9 May 1992, at New Orleans. As of 2013, Ashland is homeported at Sasebo, Japan, and assigned to Amphibious Squadron 11.

2005 rocket attack

On 19 August 2005, the Ashland and the USS Kearsarge were targeted by three Katyusha rockets while in port in Aqaba, Jordan. The vessels were not hit, but one Jordanian soldier was killed and another was wounded after two rockets hit nearby docks. The third rocket landed on a taxi near the Eilat airport in Israel but did not explode. Responsibility was claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigade, which states that it is associated with the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Later service

In January 2007, the warship was sent to the coast of Somalia to conduct antiterrorist operations as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower task force. On 31 May 2008 The Guardian reported that the human rights group Reprieve said up to seventeen US Naval vessels may have been used to covertly hold captives.[1][2] Reprieve expressed the concern the Ashland had been used as a receiving ship for up to 100 captives taken in East Africa.

In April 2008, Ashland visited Antsiranana, Madagascar.[3]

On 10 April 2010, seven suspected pirates on a skiff shot at the Ashland approximately 330 nautical miles (610 km) off the coast of Djibouti. Ashland fired two rounds at the skiff from her MK-38 Mod 2, 25mm gun. The people on board the skiff abandoned ship as it became engulfed in flames. Rigid-hulled inflatable boats from the Ashland rescued the six surviving individuals and brought them aboard the ship for medical treatment. The Ashland was not damaged and there were no injuries to the crew.[4][5] The piracy charges were later dropped, although other charges remain in effect.[6] In late August 2010, one of the pirates, Jama Idle Ibrahim, and five others, pleaded guilty to attacking to plunder a vessel, engaging in an act of violence against people on a vessel, and using a firearm during a crime of violence. They agreed to a 30 year prison term, and currently face a sentencing hearing on 29 November 2010.[7] On 29 November 2010 Jama Idle Ibrahim was sentenced at a federal courthouse in Norfolk, Virginia to 30 years in prison for his involvement in the April piracy attacks against the Ashland. "Today marks the first sentencing in Norfolk for acts of piracy in more than 150 years," said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride.[8]

Mid-life extension work on on the Ashland, completed in 2012, included normal repair and refurbishment, as well as major alterations to several ship systems. Improvements to the ship’s diesel engines, onboard networks, engineering control systems, and power management, and improved capacity for air conditioning and chilled water distribution were made. The biggest long-term change, however, involved the replacement of high-maintenance steam systems with all-electric functionality. The Ashland, one of eight active ships in its class, is expected to remain in service and mission-capable to 2038.[9]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links

USS Ashland (LSD-48) command histories – Naval History & Heritage Command

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