The recent unfortunate loss of the USS LaMoure County (LST-1194) on the desolate rocks off Chile moves our dwindling LST fleet one step closer to the history books. As the U.S. Navy amphibious force has dwindled to some 36 ships, the 12 amphibious ready groups (ARGs) have dropped to a usual composition of three ships each: an LHA or LHD flagship, an LPD, and an LSD. While the "square and cube" stowage totals will be met eventually through the new San Antonio (LPD17) class ships, the reduction in hulls in our tactical amphibious groups represents a loss in flexibility that goes beyond simple numbers.
Hatch a New Breed of Gator
By Commander T. J. McKearney, U.S. Navy (Retired)