The America-class amphibious assault carrier Tripoli (LHA-7) returned from its maiden deployment on Tuesday, after operating for seven months in the Indo-Pacific.
Homeported in San Diego, CA, Tripoli operated under Expeditionary Strike Group 3 in 3rd and 7th Fleets, according to today’s press release.
The Navy and Marine Corps tested the lightning carrier concept during the deployment -- operating 16 F-35B jets aboard the ship. The service stated this proves amphibious assault ships can be a “lethal addition” to the force.
“Whether it was launching and recovering aircraft at night, acting as a base of operations for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct operations ashore, or serving as an instrument of diplomacy to our ally and partner nations, the crew performed their duties professionally and demonstrated why they are the Navy’s greatest asset,” said Tripoli’s commanding officer Capt. John Kiefaber in a statement.
The next ship of the America class -- Bougainville (LHA-8) -- is under construction at HII. Ingalls Shipbuilding was recently awarded a contract for LHA-9.
The Navy’s fiscal year 2023 budget request pushes LHA-10 out to 2031, which is about a nine- or 10-year gap in production from LHA-9. Lawmakers are hoping to move the LHA-10 schedule to the left in the final defense policy bill to avoid a cost increase for the Navy and keep the industrial base on track.