The newest amphibious transport dock in the fleet, USS Somerset (LPD 25) is the last of the three ships named in honor of the victims and first responders of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the final resting place of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Penn. On March 1, Somerset joined her sister ships, USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Arlington (LPD 24), in active naval service.
Named after Somerset County, Penn., USS Somerset represents the heroic actions of the 40 crew members and passengers of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93. Had it not been for their brave actions, the terrorists would have reached their intended target and countless more lives would have been lost.
In Somerset’s bow is 22 tons of steel from the towering crane’s dragline bucket used during recovery operations that proudly displayed the American flag near the crash site of United Flight 93. Somerset is and always will be a direct representation of the heroic actions on September 11, 2001 by the crew members and passengers of Flight 93. This reminder of the collective sacrifice and tremendous courage displayed in the face of overwhelming adversity will be a mobile memorial leading Somerset through oceans throughout the world.
To achieve our core responsibility as a Navy, we must build and sustain a ready fighting force. Somerset does this by training and equipping our Sailors with what they need to fight and win today. Like all Navy ships, Somerset’s crew trains like it fights—meaning we develop in our crew a thorough understanding of their equipment, supreme confidence in how it works, and an ability to operate it in any environment. The most technologically advanced equipment means nothing if—when the time comes—our Sailors are unable to operate them. Onboard Somerset, being ready means dedicating the time and resources to train—realistic training that tests our Sailors and builds our crew’s proficiency and confidence. It’s through this training and preparedness that we build that bond of trust, so when the time comes to act, we know when one says “let’s roll,” the rest will follow.