PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A formal ceremony at a Penn's Landing dock declared the 684 foot long USS John P. Murtha commissioned for service.
"What a great ship it really says something about the engineering - plan and design that goes behind it."
Scott Cooper of York, PA says his brother in law is an officer aboard ship that's named in honor of the late Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha - a man devoted to the people of Pennsylvania - he was also a retired US Marine Corps officer.
"He went to work each and every day to make our nation more secure."
Familiar faces - like - US Congressman Bob Brady and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi were present to pay tribute along with hundreds of others.
It's an important day for the jones family from Houston -- CJ and Deanna's son, ITSN Zachary Palmer - is about to embark on his first mission with the navy.
CJ said, "My wife actually left Orlando ducking the hurricane and I was in North Carolina we did a lot of things to get here."
"I'll tell you these young men and women serving their country in today's world -- it's really something. Its special."
From here - the ship will make its way to its home port in San Diego and the Navy and Marine Corps will spend the next year training - before any potential deployments.
The mighty warship is available for public tours this weekend in Philadelphia - but will ultimately be used to transport and mobilize amphibious assault vehicles and aircraft like this V22 Osprey for US Marine Corps missions around the world. Its complex and state of the art.
Jim McKinney the production manager of the USS John P. Murtha said, "It can do anything the marines possibly want it to do and that makes it special."