The Ponce a U.S. amphibious assault ship is to be retrofitted so that it could carry smaller high speed craft and also helicopters. The boat could then serve as a mother ship for Navy Seals. Commando teams could be sent on missions as tensions rise between the U.S. and Iran, and perhaps missions would be made in Yemen, Somalia or against pirates.
Use of this type of ship fits in with Obama's plan to downsize the armed forces and make greater use of special forces. A spokesperson for the Navy Fleet Forces Command would not elaborate on the purpose of the ship or where it would be deployed exactly.
The navy is moving very quickly to have the retrofit done and the ship in the area by midsummer. It could very well be headed to the Persian Gulf. The navy already has a considerable presence in the area with the fifth fleet headquarters in Bahrain. The new ship would not add significant power but could be very useful in launching secret commando mission offshore. For much more see this article.