Iwo Jima Class

Overview

The seven Iwo Jima class amphibious assault ships were built during the 1960s to transport more than 2000 fully equipped Marine Assault Troops into combat areas and land them by helicopter. The ships were capable of supporting a Marine Battalion Landing Team, its armament, vehicles, equipment and a reinforced squadron of transport helicopters and support personnel. The concept was that helicopter-borne combat-ready Marines were flown inland behind the enemy's defences to isolate strategic strong points, disrupt communications, and then join up with other beach-landed Marines to overwhelm the opposition and secure the site.

The ships also supported mine-sweeping operations with Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadrons and provided humanitarian assistance when required. These ships were key parts of the United States Naval Amphibious Forces between 1970 and the end of the Cold War. USS Iwo Jima served in the Gulf War of 1990/91.

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