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NEWS | Aug. 5, 2014

Anchorage Completes URT-2 NASA Testing

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Elena Pence USS Anchorage Public Affairs

Amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) completed the second Underway Recovery Test (URT-2) for NASA's Orion Program, Aug. 5.

URT-2 is the second at-sea testing of the Orion crew module using a well-deck recovery method. The first testing was conducted on board USS San Diego (LPD 22).

"Anchorage provided a unique, validated capability to support NASA's request for operational support without adversely impacting the Navy's primary warfighting mission," said Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Joel Stewart. "This unique mission gave Anchorage Sailors an opportunity to hone their skills for the routine missions of recovering vehicles in the welldeck and operating RHIBs in the open water while supporting NASA. The testing with NASA was a success and Anchorage Sailors continue to raise the bar, completing missions above and beyond any expectations."

During the URT, a test model of the crew module will be deployed from Anchorage and recovered to finalize techniques and procedures.

The first test, the Stationary Recovery Test, occurred at Naval Station Norfolk in August 2013 aboard USS Arlington (LPD 24).

Expeditionary Strike Group 3 lead URT-2 which includes Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, providing air support for observation and documentation. Also, Anchorage Sailors conducted small boat operations using rigid-hulled inflatable boats supporting Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1's divers. Fleet Weather Center San Diego monitored and reported sea and weather conditions during the test

Anchorage was built at the Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding site in Avondale, Louisiana and is the seventh San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. Delivered to the U.S. Navy on Sept. 17, 2012, the ship was commissioned on May 4, 2013 in the namesake city of Anchorage, Alaska.

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