USS John Finn (DDG 113) Christened at Ingalls Shipyard

150502-N-OT964-276 PASCAGOULA, Miss. (May 2, 2015) Ship sponsor Laura Stavridis ceremoniously breaks a bottle of champagne on the bow during the christening ceremony for the future guided missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113). The ship is named after the Medal Of Honor Recipient and prior Aviation Ordnanceman Chief John Finn who survived and fought during the attack on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin L. Carey/Released)

150502-N-OT964-276 PASCAGOULA, Miss. (May 2, 2015) Ship sponsor Laura Stavridis ceremoniously breaks a bottle of champagne on the bow during the christening ceremony for the future guided missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113). The ship is named after the Medal Of Honor Recipient and prior Aviation Ordnanceman Chief John Finn who survived and fought during the attack on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin L. Carey/Released)


Story from Marine Link

May 2, 2015

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the company’s 29th Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) Aegis guided missile destroyer, John Finn (DDG 113), May 2 in front of nearly 1,000 guests.

DDG 113 is named John Finn after the first Medal of Honor recipient of World War II. Finn received the honor for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor despite being shot in the foot and shoulder and suffering numerous shrapnel wounds. He retired as a lieutenant after 30 years of service and died at age 100 in 2010.

“I often speak to the members of the Chief Petty Officer Mess about the characteristics of a leader and, more specifically, the characteristics I expect to see in my chiefs,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens, who was the principal speaker. “I tell them that a model chief petty officer is a quiet, humble and servant leader. I believe with all my heart that John Finn exemplified all of these traits through his heroic actions that day.”

Laura Stavridis, wife of Adm. James Stavridis (U.S. Navy, Ret.) and DDG 113 ship sponsor, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the ship, officially christening DDG 113 as John Finn. “God bless this ship and all who sail on her,” she said.

“Finn outlived 14 fellow sailors who earned the Medal of Honor for their service in World War II,” said Mike Petters, HII’s president and CEO. “Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to know that a Navy ship would be named after him. I think he would be as humbled by this honor as he was with the title of hero bestowed upon him. Just remember his words: ‘There’s all kinds of heroes.’ And if you ask me, this ship was built for heroes by heroes. All in the name of freedom.”

Ingalls has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls are John Finn (DDG 113), Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) and Delbert D. Black (DDG 119). Earlier this year, Ingalls received a contract modification funding the construction of the company’s 33nd destroyer, DDG 121.

“Rest assured these shipbuilders—Ingalls shipbuilders—understand their noble calling,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “To build ships like John Finn safe, strong and proud for the sailors and Marines who sail in her, with strength pride and our deepest gratitude and respect.

“The future USS John Finn is the first destroyer built at Ingalls after the Navy restarted the program,” Cuccias continued. “We hit the ground running with the new program, re-establishing the best destroyer team in the world with many best-in-class achievements, and this is already proven, as DDG 113 was launched three weeks ahead of schedule.”

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface threats. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

“I have said it many times, and I mean it every time I say it … Gulf Coast shipbuilders build the greatest warships the world has ever seen,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss. “Your craftsmanship is beyond compare, and I know that you all care very deeply about the work you do, because you know how important your work is to our national security and keeping America and our loved ones safe. No matter how many times I see these ships grow from steel plate into the great ship you see here today, I still believe it is an absolute modern marvel.”

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USS John P. Murtha Christened

Joyce Murtha, widow of the late Democratic U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, left, braces for the spray of sparkling wine as her daughter Donna S. Murtha christens an amphibious transport dock, the John P. Murtha (LPD 26) named after the longtime lawmaker at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Saturday, March 21, 2015, in Pascagoula, Miss. (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Joyce Murtha, widow of the late Democratic U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, left, braces for the spray of sparkling wine as her daughter Donna S. Murtha christens an amphibious transport dock, the John P. Murtha (LPD 26) named after the longtime lawmaker at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Saturday, March 21, 2015, in Pascagoula, Miss. (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/AP)


Story from The Maritime Executive

March 23, 2015

The Navy christened the newest amphibious transport dock ship, John P. Murtha (LPD 26), Saturday, March 21 during a 10:00 a.m. CDT ceremony at the Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss.

The ship is named in honor of John P. Murtha, who served his country both as a marine and in the halls of congress. Murtha served in the Marine Corps for 37 years and saw service in the Korean War and in Vietnam, a tour that earned him the Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Murtha represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 until his death in 2010.

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Ms. Donna Murtha, daughter of John P. Murtha, is the ship’s sponsor, and in accordance with Navy tradition, broke a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship.

“This ceremony and this ship honor a man who dedicated his entire adult life to service—service as a Marine and as a member of Congress,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “This dedication to service will live on in the future USS John P. Murtha as it serves as a symbol of all Chairman Murtha believed in. This ship also represents the dedication to service demonstrated by the men and women who have worked so diligently in her construction, men and women without who this day would not be possible.”

Designated LPD 26, John P. Murtha is the 10th amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. These versatile ships incorporate both a flight deck to accommodate CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and a well deck that can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles. The San Antonio class’ increased vehicle space and substantial cargo carrying capacity make it a key element of 21st century Amphibious Ready Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, and Joint Task Forces.

John P. Murtha will provide improved warfighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift capability, in vehicle and cargo carrying capacity and advanced ship survivability features. The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 669 troops and a surge capacity of up to 800.

The ship will be crewed by 381 officers, enlisted personnel and Marines. The 24,900-tonJohn P. Murtha is being built at the HII shipyard. The ship is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, and a navigational draft of 23 feet. Four turbo-charged diesels power the ship to sustained speeds of 22 knots.

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USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened at General Dynamics NASSCO

Mrs. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of General Puller, christens USNS Lewis B. Puller.

Mrs. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of General Puller, christens USNS Lewis B. Puller. (General Dynamics)


From General Dynamics/NASSCO Press Release

SAN DIEGO – General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), on Saturday christened the U.S. Navy’s newest ship, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3 AFSB).  The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Lewis “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated Marine and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses.

The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard with the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., as the ceremony’s principal speaker. Ms. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of General Puller, served as the ship’s sponsor. She christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel’s hull.

“Today was a proud moment for the thousands of men and women involved with the design and construction of the USNS Lewis B. Puller,” said Kevin M. Graney, vice president and general manager of the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. “Like its namesake, Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, the ship signifies strength and increased mobility and capability to support a variety of missions carried out by the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy.”

This third Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) is the first ship of the class to be configured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), adding a flight deck, berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, repair spaces, and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship is capable of supporting missions including counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response.

NASSCO Vice President and General Manager Kevin Graney joins MLP 3 AFSB Ship’s Sponsor Martha Puller Downs, Ship’s Matron of Honor Janice Brinkley, Principal Speaker General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Ship’s Master Captain Jonathan Olmsted on the Striker’s Platform. (General Dynamics)

NASSCO Vice President and General Manager Kevin Graney joins MLP 3 AFSB Ship’s Sponsor Martha Puller Downs, Ship’s Matron of Honor Janice Brinkley, Principal Speaker General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Ship’s Master Captain Jonathan Olmsted on the Striker’s Platform. (General Dynamics)


USNS Lewis B. Puller will be delivered to the Navy in the second quarter of 2015.

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US Navy christens future USNS Trenton (JHSV 5)

Ship sponsor Virginia A. Kamsky christens the USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) Saturday morning, Jan. 10, 2015, at the Austal USA shipbuilding facility in Mobile, Ala., as her son, Michael Kamsky, background left, and Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA president, look on. (Mike Kittrell/mkittrell@al.com)

Ship sponsor Virginia A. Kamsky christens the USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) Saturday morning, Jan. 10, 2015, at the Austal USA shipbuilding facility in Mobile, Ala., as her son, Michael Kamsky, background left, and Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA president, look on. (Mike Kittrell/mkittrell@al.com)


By Michael Finch II, Al.com (originally posted to Al.com/Austral News)

MOBILE, Alabama — “Give her a nice hard whack,” was the advice Craig Perciavalle, president of Austal USA, imparted to the sponsor of the USNS Trenton. Standing at the edge of a platform, Virginia Kamsky hurled the champagne bottle against the bow of the ship, breaking it after a second swing.

The ceremony held at Austal’s shipyard early Saturday was the fifth such occasion, blessing another one of the U.S. Navy’s joint high speed vessels. Several local and state lawmakers gathered for the ceremony at the shipbuilder’s facility on the Mobile River.

Austal is currently under contract to build ten joint high speed vessels for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the transportation provider for the U.S. Department of Defense. The construction of aluminum ships — joint high speed vessel and the littoral combat ship — helps employ more than 4,000 people.

Perciavalle said the growth over the last 6 years now leaves the shipyard as the fifth largest in the country, and the largest aluminum shipbuilder in the world. Four joint high speed vessels — Spearhead, Choctaw County, Fall River and Millinocket — have already been delivered.

“The first ship named Trenton had one of the most impacting innovations in naval history, ” Perciavalle said.

A wooden-hulled steamer active in the late 1800s, Perciavalle said the first USS Trenton changed Navy ships forever when it became the first vessel in the Navy to successfully use electrical lighting, leading to the installation of electricity on all new Navy ships that followed.

“I know the ship you see here today will be equally as innovative in its own way,” he said.

Naming Trenton

Eric Jackson, mayor of Trenton, N.J. expressed delight that the vessel was named after the city he was elected to lead. Jackson and other officials got a closer look at the military ship while touring the vessel this week.

Jackson said the experience was akin to what he imagines a spaceship is like with “all the latest technology” on board. “When I was on the bridge it really put me in the mindset of the Enterprise on Star Trek,” Jackson said. “It’s highly technical; it’s just a magnificent piece of highly-advanced technology.”

The joint high speed vessel is designed to transport as many as 600 short tons of cargo at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship is a non-combat vessel that operates with a crew of 22 men and women, carrying supplies to hard to reach locations.

“It’s my hope that some time in the next two years this great ship will find it’s way up the Northeast corridor — even into the Delaware (River) — because it’s a low shallow hull,” Jackson said, “or into the Philadelphia shipyard where we can bring the residents of Trenton to see this great vessel.”

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said when it comes to naming military ships there’s no shortage of recommendations.

“Well, I get a lot of suggestions — I’ll put it that way,” he said. “You try to get diversity and you try to pick places that have not had ship’s named in a while…it’s places that also mean a lot not just to the state, but also to America.”

Three other ships have been named for the capital city of New Jersey. The first launched in 1876, operating primarily in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. The second was a light cruiser launched in 1923. That ship helped to evacuate U.S. citizens from Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

And the third, an amphibious transport dock, was launched in 1968 after which it helped to relocate citizen during the Lebanon War in 2006. That vessel was sold to the Indian Navy for $44 million in 2007 and rechristened the INS Jalashwa.

“I try to look at cities that have meant something in American history,” Mabus said, “places that are very patriotic that send a lot of people to our military.”

Among historians the city is well known as the place where George Washington won his first military victory on December 26, 1776, crossing the Delaware River to defeat the Hessian troops at the dawn of the American Revolutionary War.

“I think it’s fair to say that without Trenton and Princeton later on, the revolution might have gone a little different that day,” Mabus said.

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Navy Christens Littoral Combat Ship Montgomery

Austal USA and the US Navy celebrated the christening of the future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) this morning as ship sponsor, Mary Blackshear Sessions, broke the ceremonial champagne bottle on the bow of the ship in Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Austal USA and the US Navy celebrated the christening of the future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) this morning as ship sponsor, Mary Blackshear Sessions, broke the ceremonial champagne bottle on the bow of the ship in Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.


By COMLCSRON ONE Public Affairs Office

The Navy christened littoral combat ship (LCS) Montgomery, Nov. 8, during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.

Adm. Michelle Howard, vice chief of naval operations, delivered the principal address at the ceremony. Mary Sessions, wife of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala), served as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by Mary Sessions breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, which is a time-honored Navy tradition.

The selection of Montgomery honors the capital city of Alabama, and will be the second ship to bear the city’s name.

“As we christen the future USS Montgomery, we not only celebrate a great Southern capital, but also the highly skilled and dedicated shipbuilders who have worked so hard to bring this day to fruition,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said. “Their efforts have ensured that this great ship, an irreplaceable platform in our future Navy and our eighth littoral combat ship, will represent the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and our nation, around the world for years to come.”

Designated LCS 8, Montgomery is designed to operate in shallow water environments to counter challenging threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft. The ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Montgomery will address critical capability gaps in the littorals. Carrying out the Navy’s mission, it will serve to enhance maritime security by deterring hostility in troubled waters, maintaining a forward presence, and by its ability to maintain sea control.

A fast, agile and high-technology surface combatant, Montgomery will be a platform for the launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles. To meet increased demand for mission-tailored packages, its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine countermeasures, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis. The LCS will be able to swap out mission packages pier side in a matter of days, adapting as the tactical situation demands. The modular approach also allows it to incorporate new or improved systems into the fleet as advanced technologies mature, providing flexibility and evolving capability. These ships will also feature an advanced networking capability to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and joint units.

Montgomery will be manned by a core crew from LCS Squadron One under the 3:2:1 crew rotation concept: three crews rotate between two ships, one of which is forward deployed for an extended period, while the other ship is stateside for workups and training. These core crews will be augmented by one of the three types of mission package crews as well as an aviation detachment. The prospective commanding officer of Montgomery’s initial crew is Cmdr. Troy Fendrick, from Tempe, Ariz. Upon commissioning in the future, Montgomery will be home ported in San Diego.

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Submarine North Dakota Commissioned in Groton

141025-N-WL435-378 GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 25, 2014) Sailors assigned to the Virginia-class attack submarine USS North Dakota (SSN 784) bring the ship to life during the boat's commissioning ceremony. North Dakota is the 11th Virginia-class submarine. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

141025-N-WL435-378 GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 25, 2014) Sailors assigned to the Virginia-class attack submarine USS North Dakota (SSN 784) bring the ship to life during the boat’s commissioning ceremony. North Dakota is the 11th Virginia-class submarine. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)


By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) — USS North Dakota (SSN 784) officially became the Navy’s newest addition to the submarine force following a commissioning ceremony held Oct. 25, at Naval Submarine Base New London.

North Dakota is the 11th Virginia-class attack submarine to join the fleet, and the first of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines to be built. The Block III submarines are being built with new Virginia Payload Tubes designed to lower costs and increase missile-firing payload possibilities.

The 10 current Virginia-class submarines have 12 individual 21-inch diameter vertical launch tubes able to fire Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMS). The Block III submarines being built will have two-larger 87-inch diameter tubes able to house six TLAMS each.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the 30th Chief of Naval Operations, was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. He enthusiastically welcomed North Dakota to the fleet and reminded the crew of the important role they will play in protecting the nation’s security while executing his standing operating orders of: Warfighting First, Operate Forward and Be Ready.

“It is with great pride that I welcome USS North Dakota to the fleet,” said Greenert. “May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail on her. I congratulate all whose hard work and dedication brought this magnificent warship to life. On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and for the President of the United States, I hereby place USS North Dakota in commission.”

Hundreds of citizens from North Dakota, including the governor and senators, attended the commissioning ceremony.

“Today was a historic day for the people of North Dakota,” said North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple. “We celebrated the commissioning of this majestic submarine just days before we mark the 125th anniversary of our statehood. We are proud and honored to have this grand ship bear the name, spirit and heritage of our great state.”

As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities. North Dakota will be a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of special operations forces, strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.

“From the Arabian Sea to the Polar Ice cap, North Dakota will operate undetected in the harshest environments on the planet as her crew protects the freedom of the seas and the interests of the United States,” said Vice Adm. Michael Connor, Commander, Submarine Forces. “Leaders around the world around the world continue to ask for more American submarine presence, because they realize that there are some very important things that must be done that only submarines can do. To the crew of North Dakota, you have done a fantastic job in bringing this ship to life. Now it time to shift your focus to global operations and get ready to meet your new responsibilities on patrol far from home.”

The submarine is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. It will operate for 33 years without ever refueling.

Capt. Douglas Gordon is North Dakota’s first commanding officer. He leads a crew of about 136 officers and enlisted personnel. While born in Indianapolis, Indiana, he refers to Carrollton, Georgia, as home. He enlisted in the Navy and attended Nuclear Power School prior to being released from active duty to attend Auburn University on an NROTC scholarship. Gordon graduated from Auburn University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

“The crew has been looking forward to commissioning from day one of their arrival,” said Gordon. “Since we first began manning the ship in October 2011 our crew has progressed through numerous milestones which has culminated in our commissioning,’ said Gordon. “For the first time the ship got underway for sea trials in August, and this sea time permitted the crew their first opportunity to finally see how their hard work and preparation had paid off,”

“I know they are all as thrilled as I am in commissioning North Dakota, joining the fleet and eventually deploying,” said Gordon. “We will operate the ship at sea over the next nine months or so while conducting training, trials, certifications, and testing. Following a post-shakedown availability, the North Dakota will begin a normal operations cycle for working towards its first deployment.”

Ironically the only native North Dakotan assigned to the submarine is the ship’s senior enlisted advisor or chief of the boat, Master Chief Electronics Technician (Submarines/Diver) Timothy Preabt.

He grew up in Williston, N.D., but moved to Mandan, N.D., and graduated from Mandan High School in 1989.

“As a native of North Dakota and the only member of the crew from North Dakota, it is a great honor and privilege to be part of the North Dakota,” said Preabt. “The outreach of support received from the great people at home has been overwhelming. North Dakota was a great place to grow up and I have always been proud of my home state, but nothing made me more prouder to see the individual pride that the people of North Dakota have for their ship,”

“The crew of North Dakota has worked together ensuring we were ready to operate the Navy’s newest Virginia-class submarine. Taking this fine warship to sea and operating it was a testament for their hard work, training and preparation during the last three years'” said Preabt. “The USS North Dakota will always be a great submarine because she started out that way – thanks to the Sailors that brought her to life!”

Katie Fowler, wife of retired Vice Adm. Jeffrey L. “Jeff” Fowler, a native of Bismarck, N.D., serves as the submarine’s sponsor. She broke the traditional champagne bottle against the boat’s sail during the christening ceremony in November 2013.

Virginia-class submarines are built under a unique teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., and Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Virginia.

Construction on North Dakota began March 2009; the submarine’s keel was authenticated during a ceremony on May 11, 2012; and the submarine was christened during a ceremony Nov. 2, 2013.

North Dakota is the second Navy ship, and first submarine, to be named in honor of the people of “The Peace Garden State.” The other ship was the Delaware-class battleship BB-29, which was commissioned April 11, 1910 and decommissioned Nov. 22, 1923.

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Navy Christens, Launches Future USS Detroit

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus delivers remarks during the christening ceremony for the littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU)  Detroit (LCS 7) at Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wis. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Sam Shavers/Released)

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus delivers remarks during the christening ceremony for the littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Detroit (LCS 7) at Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wis. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Sam Shavers/Released)

From Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships Public Affairs

MARINETTE, Wis. (NNS) — The Navy christened the future USS Detroit (LCS 7), the fourth Littoral Combat Ship of the Freedom variant, in a ceremony at Marinette Marine Shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, Oct. 18.

The Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, delivered the principal address at the ceremony, and Mrs. Barbara Levin served as the ship’s sponsor. As ship sponsor, Levin is considered a permanent member of the ship’s crew and is expected to advocate for the well-being of both ship and crew. Levin, wife of U.S. Senator Carl Levin from Michigan, has been a longtime supporter of military families.

“It takes more than just cable and pipe, more than insulation and power panels, more than steel and aluminum — and more than a bottle of bubbly — to make a Navy warship,” said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for littoral combat ships. “The skill, fortitude, and spirit of this government/industry team are what made this day possible.”

Detroit transferred out of the assembly building at Marinette via several hydraulic transfer lifts and was raised into launch position in late June. A ceremonial mast stepping, a tradition in which the ship’s sponsor and crew place coins and other memorabilia beneath the mast to be permanently sealed in the installation of the mast, took place Oct. 17. A dramatic side launch of the ship into the Menominee River followed the christening ceremony.

Detroit is an innovative surface combatant designed to operate in littoral seas and shallow water to counter mines, submarines, and fast surface craft threats in coastal regions.

The ship’s name recognizes the city of Detroit, Michigan, and honors the state’s deep ties to the U.S. Navy and the shipbuilding industry.

After its launch, Detroit will continue to undergo outfitting and testing at Marinette until her expected delivery to the Navy in late 2015 following acceptance trials. The ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Detroit will address a critical capabilities gap in the littorals and conduct the Navy’s mission to enhance maritime security by deterring hostility, maintaining a forward presence, projecting power, and maintaining sea control.

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team, led by Lockheed Martin, has delivered LCS 1 and LCS 3. The Independence variant team, led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works has delivered LCS 2 and LCS 4. Austal USA is the prime contractor for the subsequent even-numbered hulls. There are 12 additional ships currently under construction out of 20 ships contracted under an innovative Block Buy acquisition strategy.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages: Surface Warfare (SUW), Mine Countermeasures (MCM), and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). The Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining credible littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.

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U.S. Navy Christens Future USS America (LHA 6)

Tugboats guide the amphibious assault ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) America (LHA 6) to her berthing place at Ingalls Shipbuilding. The Ingalls-built amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Arlington (LPD 24) can be seen in the background. America will be christened Oct. 20. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Ingalls Shipbuilding/Released)

Tugboats guide the amphibious assault ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) America (LHA 6) to her berthing place at Ingalls Shipbuilding. The Ingalls-built amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Arlington (LPD 24) can be seen in the background. America will be christened Oct. 20. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Ingalls Shipbuilding/Released)

By Ensign Darius A. Radzius, Navy Office of Information

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) — The newest amphibious assault ship America (LHA 6) was christened Oct. 20 at a ceremony in Pascagoula, Miss.

“When America joins the fleet, we’ll be a stronger, more flexible, and a better Marine Corps team. We need this ship,” said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson during the ceremony.

The 844-foot ship will be a flexible, multi-mission platform necessary to quickly respond to incidents worldwide and provide forward presence and project power as part of joint, interagency, and multinational maritime expeditionary forces.

America also marks the first of the Navy’s newest class of amphibious assault ships replacing the Tarawa class. It is considered to be the next generation “big-deck” amphibious ship. The new ship will be more capable to support current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and Joint Strike Fighter.

“It’s kind of like a mini-aircraft carrier,” said Lynne Pace, the ship’s sponsor prior to breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow.

As an amphibious ship, its mission will include embarking, transporting, controlling, inserting, sustaining and extracting elements of a marine air-ground task force, and support forces by helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft.

“To the crew, you are charged with a very special responsibility between now and the commissioning of this ship. You will set the standard of excellence. You will set the personality,” Ferguson told the ship’s crew.

This is the fourth ship in Navy history to be named America. The first was a 74-gun ship-of-of-the-line that was used by the Continental Navy that was then presented to the king of France as a gift in appreciation for his country’s support to the new nation. The preceding America was a Kitty Hawk class aircraft carrier that played key roles between the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.

Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., laid the keel in July 2009 and plans to deliver the ship in 2013 after conducting a series of sea trials.

USS America will be homeported in San Diego.

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Navy Christens Submarine John Warner

Jeanne Warner christens the Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785). (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by John Whalen/Released)

Jeanne Warner christens the Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785). (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by John Whalen/Released)

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jymyaka Braden, Defense Media Activity

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) — Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785), the first of the Virginia-class attack submarines to be homeported in Naval Station Norfolk, was christened at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., Sept. 6.

“The christening of the future USS John Warner is not only a celebration of a dedicated Sailor, Marine and public servant, but also of what has been accomplished in building this powerful warship – of the hard work of the thousands of shipyard workers, engineers, and defense craftsmen who contributed, and of what the future holds for the USS John Warner and the crew who sail aboard her,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

John Warner is the 12th Virginia-class submarine to be built. It is named after John Warner, the five-term U.S. Senator from Virginia who also served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974. His wife Jeanne is the ship’s sponsor.

“Today is an exciting day,” Mabus said. “This Virginia-class submarine, built in large degree in Virginia, by Virginians, named after a son and distinguished senator from Virginia, which has a sponsor of Virginia, will also be homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.”

Virginia-class submarines are built to dominate the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.

Stealth and speed are standard in submarines, but this next generation of attack submarines offers an improved level of capabilities to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century.

The Virginia-class submarines are poised to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements from open ocean anti-submarine warfare to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to projecting power ashore with Special Operation Forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

John Warner will fall in with the 64 ships, 187 aircraft, 18 aircraft squadrons, and 326 tenant commands that are homeported or headquartered in Norfolk.

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R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28) Christened

R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28)
ANACORTES, Wash. (Aug. 9, 2014) Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, ship’s sponsor for the auxiliary general oceanographic research (AGOR) vessel R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28), breaks a bottle across the bow during a christening ceremony at the Dakota Creek Industries, Inc., shipyard in Anacortes, Wash. Joining O’Shaughnessy on the platform are Mr. Dick Nelson, president, Dakota Creek Industries, Inc., Matron of Honor, the reverend Dr. Bear Ride, Matron of Honor, Kathleen Ritzman, assistant director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, Kathryn Sullivan, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research. (U.S. Navy photo 140809-N-PO203-348 by John F. Williams/Released)

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