‘What’s that ship?’ USNS Montford Point anchored off West Seattle

We’ve received several questions about that unusual-looking ship anchored in Elliott Bay, not far from the West Seattle shore. It’s a U.S. Navy vessel, USNS Montford Point, a brand-new, first-of-its-class Mobile Landing Platform, christened this past March, delivered to the Navy in May in San Diego, where it was built. Its name is in honor of 20,000 African American Marine Corps recruits who trained at Montford Point, North Carolina, in the 1940s, according to the Navy announcement that says the other two MLPs will be named USNS John Glenn and USNS Lewis B. Puller (after the most-decorated US Marine). The Montford Point is not expected to go into operation for another year or so.

Yes, but what’s it doing here, you ask? According to this wire report, it’ll be berthed temporarily at Naval Station Everett while getting ready for a major inspection this fall. (More details in this Navy news release.) If we find out anything more about the Seattle side trip, we’ll add it.

8 Replies to "'What's that ship?' USNS Montford Point anchored off West Seattle"

  • Ben July 18, 2013 (3:35 pm)

    Cool! BTW, looks like it’s Montford, not Montfort.

    • WSB July 18, 2013 (3:40 pm)

      Well, that’s embarrassing. Fixed, including the URL, thanks.

  • wscommuter July 18, 2013 (5:07 pm)

    Watched it enter Elliot Bay this morning … knew that if I was just a bit patient, that the WSB would give me the skinny. Thank you!

  • JayDee July 18, 2013 (5:23 pm)

    It looks like a FLO-FLO float-on, float-off boat. I heard it was for hover craft, and I wasn’t aware they were used much for military purposes.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident July 19, 2013 (8:17 am)

    Hovercraft are now the prefered method of transfering troops and material from ships to shore via the sea. The old Landing Crafts like the LCUs, Mk 8, and Mk 6 are just about of service these days.
    LCACs have been in service for YEARS.
    The Montfort will be used a “floating pier” where there are no piers available.
    Interesting concept, but because they are not built to “combat standards” they won’t be commissioned in the US Navy, hence the USNS vice USS.
    ETC(SW/AW), USN Ret.

  • Cami July 19, 2013 (8:28 am)

    It headed out sometime between 7 and 7:30.

  • kanman July 19, 2013 (12:39 pm)

    Yes I do not see it anymore, but it looks like the new ferry under construction on harbor island is off dry dock and floating. Must be the maiden voyage unless I missed it earlier.

  • Lynne July 20, 2013 (12:03 pm)

    My son in working on this ship. It is like a pier out at sea. The ship will be used in hot spots and also for disaster help if needed. The ship cost $500 million to build. Was suppose to be one billion but they kept making cut backs. One thing they cut out was an elevator. So if you work on this ship you are climbing stairs all day long.

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