Home Americas Newest America-class amphibious assault ship will be named Fallujah

Newest America-class amphibious assault ship will be named Fallujah

USS Fallujah LHA 9 is the first ship to honor US battles of Fallujah
Illustration: US Navy file photo of America-class ship USS Tripoli at sea during it maiden deployment

The US Navy’s fourth America-class amphibious assault ship will be named USS Fallujah (LHA 9), Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro announced on December 13.

The future USS Fallujah will commemorate the First and Second Battles of Fallujah, American-led offensives during the Iraq War. The name selection follows the tradition of naming amphibious assault ships after US Marine Corps battles, early US sailing ships, or legacy names of earlier carriers from World War II.

Future USS Fallujah is yet to start construction, and will be built by HII under a $2.4 billion contract.

“It is an honor to memorialize the Marines, Soldiers, and coalition partners that fought valiantly and those that sacrificed their lives during both battles of Fallujah,” said Del Toro. “This namesake deserves to be in the pantheon of iconic Marine Corps battles and the LHA’s unique capabilities will serve as a stark reminder to everyone around the world of the bravery, courage, and commitment to freedom displayed by those who fought in the battle.”

The First Battle of Fallujah occurred in April 2004 in an effort to capture or kill insurgents responsible for the killing of four US contractors. The Second Battle of Fallujah, fought between Nov. 7 and Dec. 23, 2004, was a major US led offensive to retake control of the city from insurgents and foreign fighters.

With over 100 coalition forces killed and over 600 wounded, operation Phantom Fury is considered the bloodiest engagement of the Iraq War and the fiercest urban combat involving US Marines since the Vietnam War’s Battle of Hue City.

“Under extraordinary odds, the Marines prevailed against a determined enemy who enjoyed all the advantages of defending in an urban area,” said Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger. “The Battle of Fallujah is, and will remain, imprinted in the minds of all Marines and serves as a reminder to our Nation, and its foes, why our Marines call themselves the world’s finest.”

America-class amphibious assault ships are replacing all of the decommissioned Tarawa-class LHAs and are now optimized for aviation ability including the operation of tilt-rotor MV-22 Ospreys and the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

As a Flight I ship, Fallujah will be reincorporating a well deck to enhance expeditionary warfighting capabilities while maintaining the principal aviation characteristics of the Flight 0 ships.

USS America and USS Tripoli, the first two ships in the class, sacrificed the well deck traditionally found on ships of this class in favor of an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, which gave them a significant increase in available stowage of parts and equipment and an increased aviation fuel capacity.