The U.S. Navy reports that the first mobile landing platform, the NSNS Montford Point, ran through a series of purpose-proving evolutions, including the loading of vehicles onto landing crafts air cushion (LCACs). Their release
includes some good images of the different types of available ship interactions, although some of them are at least 15 months old.Initial LCAC interface tests were completed in June 2013, and the ship has managed to avoid the news since, which is likely a good thing.The second ship, the John Glenn, is already in Navy hands, but is to undergo further construction in Oregon. The third of the series, the Lewis B. Puller, also designated an Afloat Forward Staging Base with additional logistics, command and aviation capacity, was floated in November and is still under construction.A second AFSB variant was ordered by the Navy in December 2014, to be built again by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, a contract worth $498 million.
The Montford Point Class Mobile Landing Platform is intended to be a new class and type of auxiliary support ship, as part of the US Navy’s Maritime Prepositioning Force of the Future (MPF-F) program. They’re intended to serve as a transfer station or floating pier at sea, improving the U.S. military’s ability to deliver equipment and cargo from ship to shore when friendly bases are denied, or simply don’t exist. That’s very useful in disaster situations, and equally useful for supporting US Marines once they’re ashore.