The flagship of the U.S. 6th Fleet and forward-deployed to Gaeta, Italy, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) was constructed by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company and is named for the 14,505-foot peak in the Sierra-Nevada range in California, the highest point in the lower continental United States. It is the first ship in the U.S. Navy to bear this name.
USS Mount Whitney (MTW) serves as the Command Ship for Commander, Sixth Fleet/ Commander, Joint Command Lisbon/Commander, Striking Force NATO and has a complement of 150 enlisted personnel, 12 officers and 150 Civilian Mariners from Military Sealift Command. USS Mount Whitney was the first U.S. Navy combatant to permanently accommodate women on board.
USS Mount Whitney carries enough food to feed the crew for 90 days and can transport supplies to support an emergency evacuation of 3,000 people. The ship makes 100,000 gallons of fresh water daily and carries over one million gallons of fuel, enough for a round trip, 16 knot, 35 day voyage from Norfolk, Virginia to Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. The ship's two anchors weigh 11 tons each and are attached to 180 fathoms (or 1,080 feet) of anchor chain. Each chain weighs almost 25 tons. Total electrical capacity is 7,500 kilowatts, a sufficient amount to power a small city.
The ship's afloat communications capability is second to none. USS Mount Whitney can receive, process and transmit large amounts of secure data from any point on earth through HF, UHF, VHF, SHF, and EHF communications paths. This technology enables the Joint Intelligence Center and Joint Operations Center to gather and fuse critical information while on the move. As the most sophisticated Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence (C4I) ship ever commissioned, USS Mount Whitney incorporates various elements of the most advanced C4I equipment and gives the embarked Joint Task Force Commander the capability to effectively command widely dispersed air, ground and maritime units in an integrated fashion.