SAN DIEGO, Calif. Jan. 19, 2012. General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony for the first Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship at the company’s shipyard in San Diego. Delivery of the first MLP ship is scheduled for May 2013. The 765-foot long ship will be used as staging areas for the Navy and Marines. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently announced that this first MLP ship will be named Montford Point, for the North Carolina facility where 20,000 African American Marines were trained over seven years, starting in 1942. Once delivered to the fleet, MLP ships will join the three Maritime Prepositioning Force squadrons that are strategically located around the world to enable rapid response in a crisis. MLP vessels will provide a “pier at sea,” that will become the core of the Navy/Marine Corps sea basing concept. This capability will allow prepositioning ships to offload equipment and supplies to the MLP for transshipment to shore by other vessels.