Navy Provides Safe Haven for Army

An Army AH-64D Apache helicopter takes off from afloat forward staging base Ponce during an exercise as the guided-missile destroyer Benfold transits nearby. Ponce, formerly designated as an amphibious transport dock ship, was converted and reclassified to fulfill a long-standing U.S. Central Command request for an AFSB to be located in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

USS Ponce: From Mothballs to SEAL Mothership

There is talk of making the USS Ponce a sort of SEAL super-ship. Where the very special operator types, the extremely special warriors, camp out waiting for wabbits:

The Pentagon is rushing to send a large floating base for commando teams to the Middle East as tensions rise with Iran, al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somali pirates, among other threats.

In response to requests from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, the Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos.

Unofficially dubbed a “mothership,” the floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEALs, procurement documents show.

The USS Ponce (LPD-15) was scheduled to be mothballed, to be sent up to Philly to be part of the ghost fleet. Its namesake is Ponce de Leon; its long life makes sense, no?