WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy will send two vessels — the USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and the USS Hurricane (PC 3) — to visit Rockland during the 63rd Annual Maine Lobster Festival in August, U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine announced recently.
“The ships’ visit will be an even greater draw for not only Mainers, but individuals nationwide for this annual, iconic event in our great state,” Snowe said in a statement.
The USS Gunston Hall was named in honor of Gunston Hall, the plantation home of George Mason. The ship was launched on May 1, 1943, by the Moore Drydock Co., in Oakland, Calif. Its mission is to transport Marines to designated areas around the world, as well as to launch and support assault landing craft and helicop-ters.
The ship carries the new Landing Craft Air Cushion, an assault hovercraft with the ability to exceed 40 knots while carrying a 60-ton payload. The Gunston Hall is equipped with the Navy’s latest advanced technology including updated communication and combat systems, 20- and 60-ton cranes, expanded repair facilities, two helicopter landing areas, complete medical and dental facilities, and an automated computer-based supply system.
The USS Hurricane is the third Cyclone class patrol coastal boat and was built by Bollinger Machine Shop and Shipyard in Lockport, La. It was commissioned on Oct. 15, 1993. The ship’s home port is Little Creek, Va. Its crew includes four officers, 24 enlisted and eight Special Forces personnel.