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US Navy Christens New America-Class Assault Ship

David Baucom

An industrial management graduate of Auburn University, David F. Baucom is a retired United States Navy Rear Admiral (RADM) who completed master’s degrees in national resource strategy and acquisition and contract management. Throughout his 34 years of dedicated service, David Baucom served officer roles aboard the USS Edward McDonnell and USS Theodore Roosevelt.

On September 16, the US Navy christened the USS Tripoli, an America-class assault ship designed to carry F-35 fighter aircraft, Osprey helicopters, and thousands of Marines. The christening took place at Pascagoula, Mississippi's Huntington Ingalls Industries, where former US Navy secretary Ray Mabus broke a ceremonial bottle of wine across the ship's bow.

The USS Tripoli is expected to be deployed in 2018 along with the USS America (LHA-6). Both ships are optimized for aviation capability, meaning they have larger hangar decks, improved aircraft maintenance facilities, and a larger storage space for on-board jet fuel. Additionally, they have increased capabilities in regard to surveillance, reconnaissance, and high-tech intelligence. The USS Tripoli will be the third ship to bear the name and will be able to travel at speeds of up to 20 knots.

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