US Navy, June 22, 2007 - NORFOLK (NNS) - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marissa Kaylor, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic - The landing platform dock INS Jalashwa (LPD 41) was commissioned by the Indian Navy during a ceremony June 22 at Naval Station Norfolk.
Jalashwa is the first of its class to be inducted into the Indian Navy and was commissioned by Indian Ambassador to the United States Shri Ronan Sen.
"This is a symbol of the great partnership between the two navies and all of us recognize the deep significance of the transfer to the Indian Navy," said Sen.
The Indian Navy crew came to the United States in October 2006 for joint training with the American crew, which included two at-sea periods.
Jalashwa, formerly U.S. Navy amphibious transport dock USS Trenton (LPD 14), the ship served in the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years and was decommissioned Jan. 17. This is the first ship to transfer from the United States to India.
"For two months we ve been working shoulder to shoulder with U.S. Naval personnel and staying with them to complete tasks and evolutions," said Indian Navy Capt. Brinder Ahluwalia, commanding officer of Jalashwa.
"It is a great honor to be the first captain of this ship. I couldn�t imagine a greater moment in my life. I just want to thank the U.S. Navy personnel that have been with us for the last eight months, the ship would not be what it is today without them," said Ahluwalia.
According to the Indian Navy, Jalashwa represents a quantum jump in the Indian Navy's integral sealift and airlift capabilities. It provides a platform for power projection and the ability to transport and launch powerful expeditionary forces. She is the Indian Navy s largest combat platform second only to the aircraft carrier Viraat (R-22).
The ship can carry 968 fully equipped troops along with their assault vehicles. Six UH-3H utility helicopters and four Landing Craft Mechanised - eight are deployed for rapid build up of combat power ashore. Jalashwa will also fulfill an extremely vital role of providing the navy an ability to conduct large scale relief operations and humanitarian missions, the need for which was felt in the aftermath of the December 2004 Tsunami.