USS Tripoli, After Issue with Water Filtration, Cleared to Go to Sea

Amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli transits San Diego Harbor.
Amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli transits San Diego Harbor as the ship returns to homeport, Nov. 29, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brett McMinoway)

The Navy says that one of its newest warships -- the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli -- is now able to go back to sea after running into issues with the equipment it uses to make clean water while underway.

Navy spokesman Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson told that while the ship did run into problems with its reverse osmosis water units -- essentially large filters that the ship uses to make drinking water from saltwater -- "the ship can now produce all of its potable water needs when it returns to sea."

On Thursday, Military Times reported that the Tripoli ran into problems making fresh water during a recent sailing. Abrahamson noted that "the ship exercised water conservation for a couple of days while it was underway last week."

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While the Navy has had several ships stationed on the West Coast struggle to provide sailors with clean drinking water this year, the Tripoli's issue is different and notable for two reasons.

First, unlike the issues encountered aboard the USS Nimitz or USS Abraham Lincoln, the Tripoli did not have contaminated water -- it struggled to produce enough clean water.

Secondly, unlike the two other ships, which have been in service for decades, the Tripoli is almost brand new. The ship arrived in its home port of San Diego in the fall of 2020, having been commissioned in July. The ship also just completed its first deployment just over two weeks ago.

Abrahamson explained that not all of the ship's filtration units are back online yet, but noted that the Tripoli will be entering a scheduled maintenance period in the coming months.

The amphibious assault ship has been busy in the days after returning from its deployment by participating in Steel Knight 2023 -- a Marine-led exercise that's aimed at refining how the two services work together and support each other in conflict.

-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

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