After more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Marine Corps is retooling and repositioning itself back to its traditional role of operating with agility from the sea.
Instead of training almost exclusively to fight enemies deep inland, the new generation of Marine is preparing for roles ranging from conventional warfighting, air assault and humanitarian assistance missions.
Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) America (LHA 6) is a new amphibious assault platform specifically designed for the Marine Corps in order to reposition and effectively return Marines to their roots as a sea-going force. The ship is in the final stages of construction in Pascagoula, Miss. The ship’s mission will be to embark, transport, control, insert, sustain and extract elements of Marine air-ground task forces, and support forces by helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft.
The first America-class ship is designed to support a variety of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft consisting of the MV-22B Osprey, F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, AV-8B Harrier II, CH-53D/E Sea Stallion helicopters, CH-46D/E Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters and U.S. Navy MH-60S/R helicopters.