The primary mission of the Harpers Ferry Class Dock Landing Ships is to dock, transport and launch the Navy's Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vessels and other amphibious craft and vehicles with crews and Marines into potential trouble spots around the world. The ship also has the capability to act as primary control ship during an amphibious assault. The ships were designed as a minimum modification variant of the Whidbey Island Class, it features increased cargo capacity, and contains the same lines and propulsion plant as those ships. The major difference is the well deck, it has been shortened to accommodate added vehicle stowage and cargo storage areas, reducing the number of LCACs carried from four to two, with only one LCU.