In US Navy history, just four ships have borne the name Kearsarge.
The first, a Civil War sloop, sank the CSS Alabama off the coast of France in 1864.
The next one, a battleship, sailed around the world with Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet.
The third, an aircraft carrier, recovered astronauts from the sea during Project Mercury, the US's first human-spaceflight program.
The current USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship that docked in New York City for Fleet Week, has a lower profile, but it is no less essential to the fleet.
"We have a very special mission as opposed to your other ships of the Navy," Lt. J.G. Christian Sedarski, a deck-division officer on the Kearsarge, told Business Insider. "Sometimes we will conduct firings on the beaches and that kind of thing, but we are strictly landing and bringing back Marines from the beach."
"So the way I like to explain it is, we are a glorified hotel with a F-150 flatbed," he added.
It also has extensive medical facilities, capable of taking in wounded troops as well as survivors of natural disasters. Its ability to hold 600 patients makes it second to only the Navy's ready-reserve hospital ships in medical capacity.
In a display of its versatility, the Kearsarge deployed to provide flood relief in Pakistan in August 2010, steaming west six months later to support operations in Libya as part of Task Force Odyssey Dawn.
Below, you can take a tour of Kearsarge and get an up-close look at a ship that ferries Marines and their gear into battle around the world.
The Kearsarge stretches 844 feet from bow to stern with a 27-foot draft. Fully loaded, it displaces 44,000 tons and can push through the water at over 24 knots.
Deck-edge elevators, like the one seen here, lift the Kearsarge's contingent of aircraft to the flight deck, where three cargo elevators lift supplies to meet them.
The ship rises 186 feet from waterline to top of mast. It sails with over 1,100 officers and crew and can carry about 2,000 Marines and their gear.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Credit: US Navy