This was the view we had of Dogpatch / Pier 80 a few years back:
Basically, that’s an old Marine Corps junior aircraft carrier that would get towed annually to Kauai, Hawaii to launch SCUD-like missiles for testing of Lockheed Martin’s now-famous THAAD missile defense system.
And here’s the news of the day, in early 2016:
China warns South Korea that deploying THAAD missile system would trigger a Cold War-like arms race
Yeah, maybe. Is THAAD a good idea for the Korean Peninsula? I have no idea. But, this is recent Bay Area military history, which there’s not too much of these days.
I’d wondered about this vessel since I first noticed it back in aught-seven. Read all about it:
1. Here’s the news of the day:
“Anti-missile systems sent to Guam to counter North Korean threat“
2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
3. THAAD was developed using the former USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship that’s basically a mini aircraft carrier.
4. The USS Tripoli was based at Pier 80 in Dogpatch as recently as last year and it’s still there right now, for all I know.
That’s the connection.
That’s San Francisco’s contribution to the war effort.
(And, just saying, THAAD could come in handy when dealing with NK’s big buddy China…)
All the deets:
“She was decommissioned in 1995 and as of 2004, she was on loan to the Army, but remained laid up at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In December 2006, the ship was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it now has a high-tech role as a launch platform with the nation’s developing ballistic missile defense program. Three times the ship was towed some 100 miles off shore and used to launch small ballistic missiles, which are then intercepted by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missiles, test-fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The last test in the series was performed 26 October, when the ship fired a “Scud-like” missile, which was successfully intercepted. The ship will be towed back to the San Francisco Bay Area for the winter. Kaua’i lacks a suitable land-based launch site, and the costs of building one would far exceed the approximately $600,000 per year it costs to use the old warship, so the vessel returned to Pearl Harbor for a second series of tests in late spring 2008. As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”
Now I could tell you all about the supr sekrt USS Tripoli (LPH-10 (Landing Platform, Helicopter)) but that would be MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (I say that in Spanish because that’s how not allowed it would be).
Suffice to say the old girl has been chilling in the Dogpatch lately, right next to ridiculously hilly Potrero Hill.
Where, oh where, will it get towed to next?
What, oh what, will it next launch into the Heav’ns Above?
The Trip as seen off of Kauai in the 808 State (or somewhere else in the wide Pacific) during the sum, sum, summertime. Whoosh:
And from 2008:
Well, look what just got towed in from Hawaii. Fresh from testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, San Francisco’s favorite former helicopter carrier, the former U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10), had its ups and downs in the Aloha State.
Read all about the post-retirement adventures of the USS Tripoli at Telstar Logistics.
Under the Golden Gate Bridge:
Who knows what the future will be for this old ship. Probably more missile launching.
E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli