Amphibian Ops: The Gator Fleet

The Navy’s L-Class ships may well be their most versatile…

The Navy’s L-Class ships may well be their most versatile ships. Not only can they transport, land and support Marines, but they can also take down pirates and deliver aid, service and first-class hospital care throughout the world. Like their revered hymn proclaims, the US Marine Corps will go from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli to fight our battles on air, land or sea. True enough — and because Marines are usually the first to arrive and take the fight to America’s enemies, they often get there aboard warships designed with them in mind, the Gator Navy. Each “L-Class,” i.e., “landing,” ship has specific amphibious-assault capabilities that can be deployed independently or in coordination with other L-Class ships and forces.

L-ships are the embodiment of function over form. They lack the beauty and graceful lines of destroyers, frigates and cruisers. They also lack the glamour and prestige of aircraft carriers and their high-profile jetfighters, yet no one can doubt their awesome versatility.

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