USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy. The ship was named for the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II. The ship was commissioned in 2001 and is in service.
Construction and career
Fabrication work for Iwo Jima began at Ingalls shipyard on 3 September 1996, and the ship's keel was laid on 12 December 1997. At the keel laying ceremony, United States Army Captain Jacklyn H. Lucas, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima, placed his Medal of Honor citation in the hull of the ship, where it remains today. She was launched on 4 February 2000. USS Iwo Jima was christened by her sponsor, Mrs. Zandra Krulak, wife of General Charles C. Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, in Pascagoula, Mississippi on 25 March 2000. The commissioning crew moved aboard in April 2001, and made the ship's maiden voyage on 23 June 2001, accompanied by more than 2,000 World War II veterans — many of them survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima. She was commissioned a week later in Pensacola, Florida, on 30 June 2001.
Shortly thereafter, the ship and crew began an accelerated Inter Deployment Training Cycle, which tested virtually every system on board in realistic combat conditions. Iwo Jima was also the first ship on the waterfront open to the public after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. In 2002, Iwo Jima participated in Fleet Week in New York City.