The USS Boulder (LST-1190) was named after a county and city in Colorado. She was laid down on 6 September 1969 at San Diego, CA, by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, launched on 22 April 1970 (sponsored by Mrs. Gordon L. Allott), and commissioned on 4 June 1971 with Commander B. A. Troutman, Jr., in command. Following commissioning at Long Beach, CA, Boulder was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, with the home port of Little Creek, VA.
Into 1980, the tank landing ship alternated amphibious training operations along the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean with regular, extended deployments to the Mediterranean. Boulder was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for removal and disposal of ordnance from the Suez Canal in 1974.