via USNI News.
The first General Dynamics NASSCO built Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) delivered to the U.S. Navy on Friday, Naval Sea Systems Command said.This is good news....but I wonder....why don't they have standard defensive weaponry? 25mm cannons, Phalanx guns and Rolling Airframe Missile systems for point defense/anti-air work and maybe even a 57mm gun to reach out a bit to support a Company Landing Team ashore (yeah its small but better than nothing).
USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/AFSB) — based on an Alaska-class commercial crude carrier — is designed to host special operations forces (SOF) and mine countermeasure (MCM) helicopters as part of the Navy, U.S. Military Sea Lift Command and the Marines push to more capability for amphibious forces and capacity for seabasing with less expensive ships.
“This ship represents a leap forward in flexible capability for the U.S. Navy,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager in Program Executive Office, Ships said in a statement.
We need to wrap our heads around the idea that any ship that carries Marines will be shot at. Everyone from pirates, to rebels/terrorists, to the inevitable major regional war will take a swing at these puppies.
Oh and spare me the idea that we will have the luxury of pulling them out of harms way because of our magnificent ISR systems. Trouble comes when you're least expecting it and tech won't change Murphy's mind.