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Soldiers get USAV Aldie, a landing craft, ready in Grenada for a training exercise in 2016. The Aldie and four other Army landing craft were identified by a commission to have their names scrubbed of references to the Confederacy, according to a report submitted to Congress on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.

Soldiers get USAV Aldie, a landing craft, ready in Grenada for a training exercise in 2016. The Aldie and four other Army landing craft were identified by a commission to have their names scrubbed of references to the Confederacy, according to a report submitted to Congress on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (Heidi McClintock/111th Public Affairs Detachment)

WASHINGTON — The names of five Army landing craft vessels should be scrubbed of references to the Confederacy while four civil works projects named for Confederate fighters should be examined by Congress, according to a report submitted to lawmakers on Monday.

The third and final report produced by the Naming Commission, a group convened by Congress to rename Confederacy-affiliated items within the Defense Department, lists 1,100-plus assets flagged for modification or removal and singles out several of them in greater detail.

Among them are five landing craft utility vessels used to transport troops and equipment to shore, including USAV Mechanicsville, USAV Chickahominy, USAV Malvern Hill, USAV Harpers Ferry and USAV Aldie.

Members of the eight-person commission initially identified nine landing craft with names that could be affiliated with the Confederacy but ultimately determined that five boats were clearly linked to it, according to the report. The Army has 32 active landing craft.

Mechanicsville is the Confederate name given to the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek in Virginia, Chickahominy refers to a Confederate victory that stifled the Union advance, Malvern Hill commemorates a battle that contributed to a successful Confederate campaign, Harpers Ferry honors the Confederate capture of the strategically vital West Virginia town and Aldie is named after a battle that allowed the advance of the Confederate army into Pennsylvania.

Harpers Ferry, Malvern Hill and Mechanicsville are based at Yokohama North Dock in Japan. Chickahominy and Aldie are stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.

Crew members of the USAV Chickahominy, a landing craft, set up the gangway after mooring at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2011.  The Chickahominy and four other Army landing craft were identified by a commission to have their names scrubbed of references to the Confederacy, according to a report submitted to Congress on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.

Crew members of the USAV Chickahominy, a landing craft, set up the gangway after mooring at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2011. The Chickahominy and four other Army landing craft were identified by a commission to have their names scrubbed of references to the Confederacy, according to a report submitted to Congress on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (David P. Coleman/Joint Task Force Guantanamo Public Affairs)

The commission’s previous reports recommended renaming nine Army bases with names linked to the Confederacy and investigated assets with similar histories at the U.S. Military Academy and the Naval Academy.

In its final report, the commission called for the renaming of the USS Chancellorsville and USNS Maury and the Air Force's Fort Fisher Recreation Area in North Carolina as well as the stripping to its base of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The commission also examined multiple U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works, finding four assets with Confederate-affiliated names that are owned or controlled by the Defense Department. The Corps is an engineer formation of the Army.

The cited assets are Stonewall Jackson Lake and Dam in West Virginia, named after one of the best-known Confederate generals, Buford Dam and Lake Sidney Lanier, named after the politician Algernon Sidney Buford who served in the Virginia militia and the poet Sidney Lanier who served in the Confederate army, and Port Allen Lock in Louisiana, named in honor of Henry Watkins Allen, a Confederate brigadier general.

Commissioners included the civil works in their review of military assets but declined to offer naming recommendations for them due to the overlapping nature of their ownership and management with individual states, according to the report. The commission is instead deferring a decision on their names to Congress.

The report provides a lengthy list of commission-vetted names that could be used for renaming. The commission collected more than 34,000 naming suggestions and comments from the public, resulting in more than 3,600 unique names.

The defense secretary is required to implement a plan to rename, modify or remove Confederacy-related names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia by Jan. 1, 2024. The work was estimated to cost $62.5 million.

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Svetlana Shkolnikova covers Congress for Stars and Stripes. She previously worked with the House Foreign Affairs Committee as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and spent four years as a general assignment reporter for The Record newspaper in New Jersey and the USA Today Network. A native of Belarus, she has also reported from Moscow, Russia.

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