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The U.S. Navy is hastily working to transform an amphibious transport docking ship that was, until recently, destined for decommissioning, into what the service is calling an Afloat Forward Staging Base, unofficially known as a ‘mothership’, to service smaller vessels and helicopters at sea, according to an article by the Washington Post.

Documents posted by Military Sealift Command indicate the USS Ponce’s repurposing as a floating base, would be to service, among other things, several small high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEAL teams, the article said.

SEAL teams often deploy from regular warships, but a mothership can stay in one location for long periods of time and serve as a base of operations as they collect intelligence or prepare for operations.

Navy officials say they hope to have the staging base in the Persian Gulf by the summer.

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