- 1980sThe Decade the LCAC Makes a Splash
- 1980 January 27
The 100-ton SES-100(B), designed and built for the U.S. Navy, breaks the world’s speed record by moving across water at 105.8 miles per hour (91.9 knots) at the Navy’s Patuxent River Test Facility in Maryland. The previous record of 104 miles per hour was set by the SES-100(B).
- 1980 November 24
At the Landing Ship Dock 32/AALC Interface Trials, the JEFF(B) makes 19 entries and exits from the well deck in sea states up to 3, with the USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32) cruising at speeds up to 19 knots.
- 1981 October 23
A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is held for the new $10 million production facility for the New Orleans Operations shipyard facility. This is the only U.S. shipyard dedicated solely to full-time production of air cushion vehicles and surface effect ships. Located in eastern New Orleans, the shipyard sits on a 14.7-acre site, has 168,000-square feet of manufacturing space and provides direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway, the Mississippi River, the Mississippi River Outlet and the Gulf of Mexico. Navy dignitaries, Louisiana Congressmen Robert Livingston and Lindy Boggs, and Robert P. Straetz, Chairman of the Board of Textron Inc., attend the dedication.
- 1982 September 29
The SES-200, the world’s largest surface effect ship, completes a record breaking trip from New Orleans, La., to the Patuxent River in Maryland averaging 23.4 knots during the 1,550-nautical mile, nonstop, nonrefueling voyage.
- 1983 February 24
A ceremony marks the beginning of production on the first hull assembly for the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC). George A. Sawyer, former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Shipbuilding and Logistics, is the guest speaker. The JEFF(B), the LCAC prototype, makes its longest trip to date from Panama City to New Orleans for the ceremony.
- 1983 August 6
Second of three major milestones in the production of the LCAC-1 is achieved when the aluminum hull is turned over at the production shipyard.
- 1984 May 2
With a huge American flag waving and the rousing beat of the Marine Corps band, America’s largest military air cushion vehicle, the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC-1) is given a red carpet rollout and crowned with colored balloons in New Orleans. The LCAC-1 is the first production craft for the U.S. Navy. Five more LCACs are also in production at the shipyard in eastern New Orleans.
- 1987 June 18
LCAC-2, LCAC-3, and LCAC-4 depart San Diego, California for a successful six-month, 20,000-mile voyage through the Pacific as part of the WESTPAC deployment. The WESTPAC operation marks the first deployment of LCACs.