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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive



Left patch contributed by Wolfgang Hechler, right patch by Mike Smolinski

USS Ponce AFSB(I)-15
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USS Ponce (LPD-15) (1971 - 2012)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Sierra - Bravo - Juliet

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Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons




Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Joint Meritorious Unit Award - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (7) - Navy Expeditionary Service Medal
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Southwest Asia Service Medal
Fourth Row - Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal - Armed Forces Service Medal - Humanitarian Service Medal (2)


Austin Class Amphibious Transport Dock:
  • Laid down, 31 October 1966, at Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction, Seattle WA.
  • Launched, 20 May 1970
  • Commissioned USS Ponce (LPD-15, 10 July 1971, CAPT George W. Farris USN in command
  • Ponce was assigned to Amphibious Squadron Six, Amphibious Group Two, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic and is homeported at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, VA.
  • Redesignated Afloat Force Service Base (Interim) AFSB(I), 31 March 2012
    Specifications:
    Displacement 8,894 t.(lt), 16,590 t.(fl)
    Length 570'
    Beam 100'
    Draft 23 ft.
    Speed 21 kts.
    Complement
    28 Officers
    480 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    72 Officers
    851 Enlisted
    Flag Staff Accommodations 90
    Assault Craft (well deck capacity) one LCU, or two LCM-8 or four LCM-6
    Boats
    two LCPL
    one motor whaleboat
    Armament
    (As Built)
    four twin 3"/50 gun mounts
    (Modernized)
    two 25mm MK38 chain guns
    two Phalanx CIWS
    eight 50 cal. machine guns
    Aircraft two CH-46/CH-53 or four UH-1/AH-1, or two AV-8B Harriers
    Propulsion
    two Foster-Wheeler boilers
    two DeLaval steam turbines
    two propellers, 24,000 shaft horsepower

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    USS Ponce (LPD-15)
    Ponce 174k USS Ponce (LPD-15) exiting Chesapeake Bay in 1971 after having completing her shakedown cruise from Bremerton, WA. Note Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and Fort Monroe to starboard This is Ponce in her original configuration with four gun mounts all twin 3"/50. The forward two mounts (Mounts 31 & 32) are enclosed. Jim Williams, USS Ponce 1973-75
    Ponce 137k USS Ponce (LPD-15) off San Juan Puerto Rico, circa 1973. As built configuration with four 3"/50 twin gun mounts. Jim Williams, USS Ponce 1973-75
    Ponce 603k USS Ponce (LPD-15) Med-moored at Genoa, Italy, 1 November 1976. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Ponce 111k USS Ponce (LPD-15) at Moorehead City, N.C., February 1977 © Richard Leonhardt
    Ponce 50k USS Ponce (LPD-15) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
     
    Ponce 274k The ships of MARG 1-86 looking aft from USS Ponce (LPD-15). Ships in the group are from left to right are USS Manitowoc (LST-1180), USS El Paso (LKA-117), in the far distance, and USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7). Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 239k USS Ponce (LPD-15) with two Marine Corps. H53 Sea Stallion helicopters on her flight deck in the winter of 1986 during a Mediterranean deployment. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 260k USS Ponce (LPD-15) flight deck operations during the ships' 1986 Mediterranean deployment. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 214k USS Ponce (LPD-15) during an underway replenishment in the Mediterranean in 1986. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 160k USS Ponce (LPD-15) moored in the harbor at Naples Italy. Ponce made a routine port visit to Naples from 11 to 19 February 1986. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 227k USS Ponce (LPD-15) anchored at Cap Serrat, Tunisia while conducting amphibious exercises, 22 to 28 February 1986. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 295k USS Ponce (LPD-15) underway in the Grand Canal at Venice, Italy, 27 March 1986. Ponce made a routine port visit to Venice from 27 March to 2 April. 1986. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 260k USS Ponce (LPD-15) moored at Venice, circa 27 March to 2 April. 1986. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 182k View of USS Ponce (LPD-15)'s stern gate while drydocked, at Portsmouth, VA. circa April to August 1987. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 315k USS Ponce (LPD-15) flight deck, circa Aug 1985 - July 1987. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 43k One of USS Ponce (LPD-15)'s twin 3"/50 gun mounts Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 314k
    Ponce 76k USS Ponce (LPD-15) well deck operations Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 269k
    Ponce 284k An LCM entering the well deck of USS Ponce (LPD-15). Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 480k
    Ponce 361k USS Ponce (LPD-15) stern gate closing. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 285k Starboard broadside view of USS Ponce (LPD-15) at anchor, date and location unknown. Scott Baker, former PAO and Weapons Officer (Aug 1985 - July 1987) USS Ponce
    Ponce 32k USS Ponce (LPD-15) heading up the Elizabeth River for a four month maintenance availability at Metro Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA. with at least three tugs assisting; the one in the foreground is Nancy McAllister, 24 January 1989 Photo by H. Carl Nancken
    Ponce 59k USS Ponce (LPD-15) at Barcelona, Spain, 12 April 1990. In this photo Ponce's armament has been updated to include two Phalanx close-in-weapons-systems (CIWS). The Phalanx systems replaced the forward port and the after starboard 3"/50 gun mounts; the starboard CIWS mount has been relocated forward, nearer the bridge. Photo by Fabio Peņa
    Ponce 52k USS Ponce (LPD-15) at Barcelona, Spain, 12 April 1990. This photo again shows the updated armament configuration as noted above. Photo by Fabio Peņa
    Ponce 877k USS Ponce (LPD-15) underway, date and location unknown. Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr
    Ponce 65k USS Ponce (LPD-15) in Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta, July 2001. Robert Hurst
    Saipan 111k USS Saipan (LHA 2) left, and USS Ponce (LPD15) flank the underway replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201) during a simultaneous underway replenishment (UNREP), 21 September 2002.
    US Navy photo # 020921-N-6920A-001 by PHAN Latrice N. Ames
    Bill Gonyo
    Spica 74k USS Ponce (LSD-15), USNS Spica (T-AFS-9) and USS Saipan (LHA-2) prepare to conduct a simultaneous Refueling at Sea (RAS), 31 January 2003. Ponce is part of Amphibious Task Force East (AFT-E), underway on an unscheduled deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
    US Navy photo # 030131-N-2972R-056 by PH3 Angel Roman-Otero.
    Bernard A. Cardali USS LST-308
    Ashland 2760k USS Ponce (LPD-15) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD-48) receive stores during a connected replenishment with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) combat stores ship USNS Spica (T-AFS-9). Ponce, Ashland and Spica are deployed with the Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group and are currently conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Persian Gulf.
    US Navy photo # 050505-N-2382W-010 Persian Gulf (May 5, 2005) by PHAN Finley Williams
    Navy Newsstand
    Ponce 579k USS Ponce (LPD-15) pulls alongside Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) to begin an underway replenishment, 20 June 2007. Ponce is underway in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
    US Navy photo # 070620-N-4014G-037 ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 20, 2007) by MC3 Patrick Gearhiser.
    Douglas Brown
    Ponce 4303k An MH-60S Seahawk, from Helicopter Combat Sea Squadron (HSC-22) "Sea Knights", approaches the flight deck of USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) during a troop transport with USS Ponce (LPD-15). Kearsarge is deployed in support of maritime security operations (MSO).
    US Navy photo # 071101-N-7955L-007 INDIAN OCEAN (Nov. 1, 2007) by MCSN Christopher Lange.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Ponce 1922k USS Ponce (LPD-15) moored pierside at Norfolk, VA., 27 April 2008 Photo by Larry Backus
    Ponce 1308k USS Ponce (LPD-15) moored pierside at Norfolk, VA., 27 April 2008 Photo by Larry Backus
    Ponce 432k USS Ponce (LPD-15) pulls away from the pier at Naval Station Norfolk, 14 September 2008. Ponce will be demonstrating operational readiness off the Virginia coast and available to provide disaster response if called upon.
    US Navy photo # 080914-N-1713L-047 NORFOLK, Va. (Sept. 14, 2008) by MC1 Lolita Lewis.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Ponce 1870k USS Ponce (LPD-15) departs from Naval Station Norfolk as part of the Bataan Ready Group on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of operation. The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is comprised of the USS Bataan (LHD-5, Ponce and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43).
    US Navy photo # 090513-N-9985W-095 NORFOLK (May 13, 2009) by MC3 Tyler J. Wilson.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 1217k USS Ponce (LPD-15) steams through the Red Sea after completing replenishment at sea with the military sealift command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1), 27 June 2009. Ponce is deployed with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in support of Maritime Security Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
    US Navy photo # 090627-N-5345W-031 RED SEA (June 27, 2009) by MC2 Kristopher Wilson.
    Robert Hurst
    Kanawha 1063k The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) conducts a replenishment at sea with USS Ponce (LPD-15) and the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
    US Navy photo # 091008-N-9740S-014 U.S. 5th FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Oct. 8, 2009) by MCC Tony Sisti.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 2550k USS Ponce (LPD-15) heads to sea after a port visit to the Seychelles. Ponce is part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
    US Navy photo # 101111-N-7293M-470 VICTORIA, Seychelles (Nov. 11, 2010) by MC1 Nathanael Miller.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 1017k An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-22) flies above USS Ponce (LPD-15). Ponce is part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
    US Navy photo # 110310-N-3154P-087: MEDITERRANEAN SEA (March 10, 2011) by MC3 Scott Pittman.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 903k Sailors and Marines man the rails as USS Ponce (LPD-15) returns to Naval Station Norfolk after completing an extended deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. Ponce is part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and deployed with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU).
    US Navy photo # 110516-N-VK779-150 NORFOLK (May 16, 2011) by MC3 Brian Goodwin.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 2161k USS Ponce (LPD-15) moored at Pier 2, Naval Station Norfolk, VA., after her final week at sea. After 40 years of service Ponce's crew is beginning the process that will result in the ship's decommissioning in 2012.
    US Navy photo # 111202-N-YX169-413 NORFOLK (Dec. 2, 2011) by MC1 Nathanael Miller.
    Lee Wahler
    USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15)
    Ponce 244k Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) departs Naval Station Norfolk. Ponce will fulfill a long-standing requirement from U.S. Central Command for an AFSB.
    US Navy photo # 120601-N-YF783-040 NORFOLK (June 1, 2012) by MC3 Kayla Jo Finley.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 1347k Tug boats assist the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) as she arrives in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Ponce is deployed to support maritime security operations and mine countermeasure efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
    US Navy photo # 120706-N-UM570-051 MINA SALMAN PORT, Bahrain (July 6, 2012) by MC2 Ashante Hammons.
    Ron Reeves
    Ponce 314k USS Ponce (AFSB(I)15), bottom, transits the Arabian Gulf with the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD-17). San Antonio is deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
    US Navy photo # 130426-N-GZ984-198 ARABIAN GULF (April 26, 2013) by MC2 Terah L. Mollise.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 340k USS Ponce (AFSB(I)15) transits the Arabian Gulf. Formerly designated as an amphibious transport dock ship (LPD), Ponce was recently converted and reclassified to fulfill a longstanding U.S. Central Command request for an Afloat Forward Staging Base to be forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
    US Navy photo # 130426-N-GZ984-233 ARABIAN GULF (April 26, 2013) by MC2 Terah L. Mollise.
    Lee Wahler
    Ponce 170k USS Ponce (AFSB(I)15) is boarded by Sailors and Marines from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) during an enhanced vessel board, search and seizure drill.
    US Navy photo # 140428-N-BD629-280 ARABIAN GULF (April 28, 2014) by MC2 Shannon M. Smith.
    Ron Reeves
    Ponce 89k MANAMA, Bahrain (Nov. 26, 2014) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) ADM. Jonathan Greenert gets a firsthand look at the directed energy Laser Weapon System (LaWS) aboard USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) before an all-hands call with Sailors and Military Sealift Command crew members aboard Ponce. Greenert is in Bahrain for a series of international and fleet engagement activities.
    US Navy photo by MCC Peter D. Lawlor.
    Lee Wahler


    For more photos and information about USS Ponce, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • Ship History/Command Operations Reports
  • USS Ponce (LPD-15)
  • Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) Will Provide Combat Capability for Fifth Fleet
  • Navy Fact File - Amphibious Transport Dock - LPD
  • Commanding Officers

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 5 December 2014