Description: The Navy has selected NASSCO to be the single prime contractor for continuous maintenance of all amphibious classes of ships home-ported on the West Coast. Long-term contracts have been awarded to the company to provide maintenance and repair services on five LHA-class and LHD-class ships and eight LSD-41/49-class ships and LPD-4-class ships for the U.S. Navy.
USS Tarawa (LHA-1), nicknamed "Eagle of the Sea" , is a United States Navy amphibious assault ship, the lead ship of her class, and the second ship to be named for Tarawa Atoll, site of a Marine landing during World War II. The first Tarawa was the USS Tarawa (CV-40).
She was laid down in November 1972 at Pascagoula, Mississippi, by Ingalls Shipbuilding, launched 1 December 1973, sponsored by Audrey B. Cushman, the wife of General Thomas J. Cushman, former Commandant of the Marine Corps; and commissioned on 29 May 1976, Capt. James H. Morris in command.
Tarawa is the first of five ships in a new class of general-purpose amphibious assault ships and combines in one ship type the functions previously performed by four different types: the amphibious assault ship (LPH), the amphibious transport dock (LPD), the amphibious cargo ship (LKA), and the dock landing ship (LSD). She is capable of landing elements of a Marine Corps battalion landing team and their supporting equipment by landing craft, by helicopters, or by a combination of both.