The Mesa Verde, a helicopter and amphibious assault ship has been dispatched to the Persian Gulf in response to the current crisis in Iraq. She will join the task force already present represented by the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and two destroyers.

Mesa Verde (LPD-19) is from Norfolk, VA and has a total capacity of 700 to 800 personnel. The ship uses two LCAC air cushioned landing craft and two MV-22 Ospreys tilt rotor aircraft from VMM-263 as part of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The San Antonio class was designed to provide the Navy and Marines with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operate with 21st century transformational platforms. The ship is more than 45 percent larger than the Austin class like the Ponce, displacing more than 25,000 tons at full load. It carries fewer troops but has twice as much space for vehicles, landing craft, and aircraft