USS Montana (SSN 794) Commissioned

NORFOLK (June 25, 2022) Sailors attached to the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Montana (SSN 794) man the boat during a commissioning ceremony in Norfolk, Va., June 25, 2022. SSN-794, the second U.S Navy vessel launched with the name Montana and first in more than a century, is 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. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Smolinski)

(Original article appears courtesy of Navy.mil)

The Navy commissioned the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Montana (SSN 794) in a traditional ceremony held Saturday, June 25, at Naval Station Norfolk.

Under Secretary of the Navy Erik K. Raven, highlighted the Montana’s capabilities and the importance of its crew in maintaining undersea dominance for the fleet.

“When USS Montana joins that fleet, she will add next generation of stealth, surveillance, and special warfare capabilities to our Joint Force, and extend our integrated deterrence capabilities,” said Raven. “This powerful boat and her crew will protect our sea lanes, strengthen our maritime dominance, and contribute to strengthening our relationships with our allies and partners.”

Raven continued to highlight the hard work and dedication needed by the shipyard, crew and all others involved to bring Montana to life.

“We’re here because of the detailed focus of every engineer, technician, builder and Sailor who had a hand in this platform,” said Raven. “USS Montana is proof of what our civilian, contractor and military teams can accomplish together.”

Adm. Frank Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, shared Raven’s sentiment on the importance of the Submarine Force in safeguarding our National Security.

“Today we enjoy a powerful advantage in the undersea realm,” said Caldwell. “Where our competitors seek to challenge the United States in all domains, it is a national imperative that we maintain that advantage.”

Caldwell went on to speak on the capabilities Montana and its crew will bring to the Submarine Force.

“From this day forth you and the Montana team will carry the immense burden of defending our freedoms across the globe,” said Caldwell. “Be ready to answer that call – as ‘vigilantes of the deep’.”

Sally Jewell, former Secretary of the United States Department of Interior, is the ship sponsor. During Saturday’s commissioning event, Ms. Jewell gave the crew the traditional order to “man our ship and bring her to life,” after which Montana’s Sailors ceremonially ran aboard the submarine.

“With awe I have witnessed the USS Montana come to life through hardworking shipbuilders, capable submariners and supportive families—all operating through a global pandemic—to ready her for service to our nation and allies,” said Jewell. “I’m proud of the impact the USS Montana will have in furthering freedom around the world, and confident she will live up to the spirit of adventure and resilience of her namesake state.”

The future USS Montana (SSN 794) honors the Treasure State. It will be the second commissioned warship bearing the name. The first USS Montana (ACR-13), an armored cruiser, was also built at Newport News Shipbuilding and commissioned July 1908. It served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, landed Marines during unrest in Haiti in 1914 and escorted convoys during World War I. It was decommissioned in 1921.

Montana was previously christened in a traditional ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia on Sept. 12, 2020.

Montana is the third of the Block IV Virginia-class submarines to be delivered.

Block IV Virginia-class submarines incorporate design changes focused on reduced total ownership cost. By making these smaller-scale design changes to increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine, the Navy will increase the periodicity between depot maintenance availabilities and increase the number of deployments.

Blocks I-III Virginia-class submarines are planned to undergo four depot maintenance availabilities and conduct 14 deployments. Block IV design changes are intended to reduce planned availabilities by one to three, and increase deployments to 15.

Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

The Submarine Force executes the Department of the Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the nation could not otherwise achieve.

The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.

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Future USNS John L. Canley is Christened

Expeditionary sea base USNS John L. Canley (ESB-6), Military Sealift Command’s newest ship, at its christening ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif.

(Original article appears courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

The future expeditionary sea base USNS John L. Canley (ESB-6) was christened during a ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif., June 26.

The event was attended by VIP guests including the Honorable Meredith Berger, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment); Lt. Gen. Michael Langley, commander, U.S. Marine Forces Command; Vice Adm. Ross Myers, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet; Sgt. Maj. David Wilson, Command Sergeant Major, 1st Marine Division; Thomas Kiss, director, Ship Management, Military Sealift Command; Captain, Austin Hanbury, Canley’s civil service master; Jason Briggs, Canley’s Chief Engineer, the ship’s crew, and Sailors from the ships pre-commissioning unit, and five Medal of Honor recipients.

The 784 foot ship honors Gunnery Sgt. John L. Canley, a United States Marine who distinguished himself in battle during the Viet Nam war, in January/February 1968, during the Battle of Huế, with Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross but this was upgraded to the Medal of Honor, fifty years after the battle, making him the first living Black Marine to receive the nation’s highest military decoration for valor. The only previous Black recipients in the Marine Corps who received the medal posthumously.

“If we operate this great ship with a fraction of the skill, tenacity and courage displayed by John Canley, our naval service will be well-positioned to meet the challenges that lie ahead!” said Kiss during his remarks during the ceremony.

The official christening moment happened when the ship’s sponsor, Canley’s daughter, Patricia Sargent ,broke a bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow with the words, “For the United States of America, I christen you the USNS John L. Canley. May God bless this ship and all who sail on her.”

“What we christen today is not just a ship,” said Dave Carver, president, General Dynamics NASSCO. “It is the embodiment of American unity and purpose; a beacon of freedom that will carry John Canley’s legacy and the legacy of America to people all over the world.”

Canley is the sixth ship in the expeditionary mobile base platform build for MSC, and the third expeditionary staging base model. When activated, Canley will primarily support aviation mine countermeasure and special operations force missions. In addition to the flight deck, the ship has a hangar with two aviation operating spots capable of handling MH-53E Sea Dragon-equivalent helicopters; accommodations, work spaces, and ordnance storage for embarked force; enhanced command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence to support embarked force mission planning and execution; and reconfigurable mission deck area to store embarked force equipment to include mine sleds and rigid hull inflatable boats.

“Navy forces are more important than ever in building global security, projecting power, deterring foes, and rapidly responding to crisis that affect our national security. To do that we have to be forward, engaged, and ready,” said Kiss. “This expeditionary sea base will do all those things and much more, providing our leadership with options and maneuver space; and supporting the Joint Force through a unique combination of aviation support, equipment staging, command and control, and most importantly, a well-trained crew.”

Canley will be delivered to the MSC fleet later this year, where it will undergo testing and qualifications in preparation for its support of a variety of maritime-based missions, including Special Operations Forces and Airborne Mine Counter Measures support operations, humanitarian and traditional military missions.

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Navy Christens USS John Basilone

(Original article appears courtesy of Naval Today)

The US Navy has christened the future USS John Basilone (DDG 122) during a ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

The christening ceremony for the vessel, which is the second ship to honor Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, was held on 18 June.

Basilone, received the Medal of Honor for heroism displayed in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, where he led his heavy machine gun sections in defense of a critical position and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

He later returned to action at the Battle of Iwo Jima in February of 1944, where he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse and led a Marine tank under fire safely through a minefield.

Basilone was killed in action later that day and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his unwavering devotion and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice.

“The future USS John Basilone will serve as a constant reminder of the immense impact that actions taken by any one Sailor or Marine can truly have,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.

“Gunnery Sgt. Basilone is a national hero and this ship and crew will honor his legacy for decades to come.”

USS Basilone belongs to Arleigh Burke-class of destroyers. These multi-mission ships conduct various operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface, and subsurface domains.

The keel for the unit was laid in January 2020.

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HII Christens USS Richard M. McCool Jr.

(Original article appears courtesy of HII)

HII announced today that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the company’s 13th amphibious transport dock, Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29), constructed for the U.S. Navy.

“For nearly two decades, we have had the opportunity to build these amphibious ships, and we look forward to continuing this journey with such a valued partner,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said. “Today we reflect on Richard M. McCool Jr.’s bravery and heroism in front of a ship that will carry another generation of brave sailors and Marines into missions defending our freedom.”

LPD 29 is named to honor U.S. Navy Capt. Richard M. McCool Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in rescuing survivors from a sinking destroyer and for saving his own landing support ship during a World War II kamikaze attack. His rescue efforts took place exactly 77 years prior to the day Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29) was christened.         

Under Secretary of the Navy Erik Raven was the keynote speaker.

“Richard M. McCool Jr. truly embodied the spirit of service above self,” Raven said. “The sailors and Marines who will sail on this future ship carry on that legacy following the example of spirit, patriotism and selflessness set by Richard M. McCool Jr.”

When speaking of America’s defense capabilities, Raven said, “We are able to deploy exquisite capabilities across the globe in great part due to our dedicated shipbuilders and our talented team. These talented Americans are essential to making sure that our naval forces have the ships that they need.”

Richard M. McCool Jr. is co-sponsored by Shana McCool and Kate Oja, granddaughters of the ship’s namesake. Together, the two sponsors officially christened Richard M. McCool Jr. by smashing a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the ship. Shana spoke on behalf of both sponsors at today’s ceremony.

When speaking about her grandfather’s heroic acts some 77 years ago, Shana McCool said, “To the commanding officer and future crew of this ship, may she (the ship) keep you safe. And in the words of our grandfather, may you always remember to fight as a unit and not as individuals.”

Additional information about the ship and its sponsors is available at: https://ingalls.huntingtoningalls.com/lpd29christening/

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Navy Commissions USS Oregon (SSN 793)

GROTON, Connecticut (May 28, 2022) – Crewmembers attached to the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Oregon (SSN 793) man the ship during a commissioning ceremony in Groton, Conn., May 28, 2022. SSN 793, the third U.S Navy ship launched with the name Oregon and first in more than a century, is 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. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Joshua Karsten)

(Original article appears courtesy of Navy.mil)

The Navy commissioned the fast-attack submarine USS Oregon (SSN 793) in a traditional ceremony held Saturday, May 28, at Naval Submarine Base New London.

“Oregonians are deeply honored that the 20th Virginia-class submarine will bear the name of our state,” said Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

The Memorial Day Weekend event for USS Oregon – the second of the Block IV Virginia-class subs – represented the first in-person submarine commissioning ceremony since the commissioning of the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) on Feb. 2, 2019.

“This is the first in-person commissioning ceremony of a submarine in more than three years, and that’s a long time to delay celebrations like this one,” Tommy Ross, performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, told the assembled audience Saturday, adding: “As we honor the fallen this Memorial Day Weekend, I’d also like to remember the many service members who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this great nation free.”

Because of restrictions on large gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 commissionings of USS Vermont (SSN 792) and USS Delaware (SSN 791) were completed administratively, with ceremonies held at later dates in 2021 and 2022 to celebrate the milestones retroactively.

SSN 793 is the third U.S. Navy ship launched to bear the name Oregon, but first in more than a century. The first, named after the Oregon Territory before Oregon became a state, was a brigantine in service from 1841-1845. The second was an Indiana-class battleship commissioned in 1896 and ultimately decommissioned for the final time in 1919.

“As we commission Oregon today, the torch is passed from our storied naval history to the present,” said Ross. “First a brig bearing the name Oregon served as an exploration vessel in the mid-19th century, and later as an Indiana-class battleship, Oregon served in the Spanish-American War and helped destroy (famed Spanish Adm. Pascual Cervera y Topete’s) fleet. Today, Oregon breaks her flag again and returns to sea, reborn as an extraordinarily capable fast-attack submarine.”

USS Oregon is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam and is able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots. She has a crew of nearly 140 Navy personnel.

“The passion, grit and enthusiasm of Oregon’s crew has carried the ship to sea and were vital to the completion of construction and testing,” said Cmdr. Lacy Lodmell, commanding officer of USS Oregon. “I have been deeply honored to see you grow into a team that is ready to undertake any mission we are assigned. This is without a doubt the finest crew I have ever had the pleasure to serve with.”

The submarine Oregon was previously christened in a traditional ceremony at General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, on Oct. 5, 2019.

Dana L. Richardson, the wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, is the ship sponsor. During Saturday’s commissioning event, Dana Richardson gave the crew the traditional order to “man our ship and bring her to life,” after which Oregon’s Sailors ceremonially ran aboard the submarine.

Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

Oregon and the other Virginia-class submarines will not only sustain, but exploit our edge in undersea warfare,” said Adm. Frank Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, at the Saturday ceremony. “Soon Oregon will employ her stealth, her flexibility, her superior firepower and her endurance to travel silently throughout the world’s oceans undetected, collecting intelligence, preparing for battle and – if necessary – striking from the deep swiftly without warning to answer the nation’s call.”

Block IV Virginia-class submarines incorporate design changes focused on reduced total ownership cost. By making these smaller-scale design changes to increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine, the Navy will increase the periodicity between depot maintenance availabilities and increase the number of deployments.

Blocks I-III Virginia-class submarines are planned to undergo four depot maintenance availabilities and conduct 14 deployments. Block IV design changes are intended to reduce planned availabilities by one to three, and increase deployments to 15.

Other speakers at the commissioning ceremony included Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat shipyard, as well as U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut. The master of ceremonies was Lt. Cmdr. Collin Hedges, executive officer of the USS Oregon.

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USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul Commissions

DULUTH, Minnesota (May 21, 2021) Sailors salute the audience during the commissioning ceremony of the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) in Duluth, Minnesota. Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the second U.S. Navy warship to honor the Twin Cities. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sonja Wickard)

(Original article appears courtesy of Navy.mil)

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest littoral combat ship USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) in Duluth, Minnesota, May 21, 2022.

Rep. Betty McCollum, Minnesota 4th District, was the principal speaker for the commissioning ceremony.

“The strength of America’s national security, and the democratic values we hold dear, are being tested today like they have not been in decades,” said McCollum. “I can think of no two names that represent that strength more than Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Together we are one team – those who built this fine ship, and those who will serve on her. It is the strength and determination of the American people that is the backbone of our national security.”

The Honorable Erik Raven, Under Secretary of the Navy, reflected on attending his first commissioning ceremony. “The Twin Cities represent the Great State of Minnesota’s economic, cultural, and political center. The Twin Cities play a significant role in our nation’s economic network,” said Raven. “Now, more than ever, it is fitting that a Littoral Combat Ship is named Minneapolis-Saint Paul – honoring the legacy of work and contribution of the people whose work ultimately impacts our daily lives nationwide and globally.”

Vice Admiral Scott Conn, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements and Capabilities also attended. “Thank you all for preparing LCS-21 for this day,” said Conn. “I recognize how special it is to be together for this milestone, and to spend this day bringing the newest ship in our fleet to life in this way. And more so, to do it in the State of her namesake cities is unique and special.”

The Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, also attended the ceremony. “This is a unique opportunity to gather ourselves as Minnesotans, and Americans,” said Walz.  “We’re not just a country; we’re an ideal.”

Guest speakers for the event were Jon Rambeau, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors and senator of Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar.

Attendees of  the ceremony were Mayor Jacob Frey, City of Minneapolis; Mayor Melvin Carter, City of Saint Paul; Mayor Emily Larson, City of Duluth; Rear. Adm. Casey Moton, Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants; Mark Vandroff, chief executive officer, Fincantieri Marinette Marine; Capt. David Miller, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 2; Capt. Andy Gold, Littoral Combat Ship program manager, Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants; Brian Kriese, deputy officer in charge, supervisor of shipbuilding Bath Detachment Marinette; and Matrons of Honor, Nicole Sunberg and Carly Olsen. 

Rep. Pete Stauber, Minnesota 8th District, assisted in placing the ship into commission. The ship’s sponsor Jodi Greene, former Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, gave the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life.”

“As a crew, you have already proven your strength and determination in getting ready for this momentous day,” said Greene. “You prepared this ship to take her place in the fleet during challenging times. All eyes were on you as you continued to make this pathway.”

Built by the Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. Minneapolis-Saint Paul was launched and christened in on June 15, 2019. The ship completed acceptance trials, Aug. 21, 2020, and was delivered to U.S. Navy, Nov. 18, 2021.

“I am incredibly proud of this crew for their dedication to shipmate and ship as we worked toward the commissioning of USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, ” said Cmdr. Alfonza White, commanding officer of Minneapolis-Saint Paul. “We are honored to carry the name Minneapolis-Saint Paul into the fleet.”

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the second naval ship to honor Minnesota’s Twin Cities although each city has been honored twice before.

The first U.S. Navy warship named Minneapolis-Saint Paul was a Los Angeles-class submarine launched in 1983 that participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708) was the first submarine to carry Tomahawk missiles specifically designed for use in strikes against Iraq during the Gulf War. Having served for over two decades with distinction, the submarine decommissioned in 2007.

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USS Frank E. Petersen, Jr. Commissions

CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 14, 2022) Sailors march during the commissioning of the Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) in Charleston, S.C., May 14, 2022. Lt. General Petersen served in Korea and Vietnam during his career and his legacy is carried on today as an American hero and as an outstanding Marine. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dylon Grasso)

(Original article appears courtesy of Navy.mil)

The Navy commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (DDG 121), May 14 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro attended the ceremony. He began by thanking the Petersen family for their lifetime of service to the nation. “All of us join you in honoring Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr.” Del Toro also recognized the plankowners bringing the ship to life. “As Secretary of the Navy I contribute all that I can to make sure that you and your families are equipped for the many challenges that lie ahead. That starts with making sure that you have the very best ship that our nation has to offer.”

The principal speaker was The Honorable Carlos Campbell, Naval aviator and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, who served alongside Petersen and relayed stories exemplifying the general’s strength and dedication. Recalling Petersen’s ethic, Campbell said “He received a frag wound, he was treated in the field, and returned to combat.”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday also attended the ceremony. “It’s fitting that a name synonymous with service and sacrifice be emblazoned on the steel of this American warship,” said Gilday. “Sailors aboard this mighty warship will deploy wherever, whenever needed, with General Petersen’s fighting spirit and tenacity, for generations to come.”

Gen. David Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps, also attended the ceremony. “General Petersen was a man of many firsts,” said Berger. “There’s a saying that ships take on the characteristics of their namesakes, and if that’s true, then God help any adversary to ever confronts the Frank E. Petersen, Jr.

Ms. Gayle Petersen, Lt. Gen. Petersen’s daughter, expressed thanks on behalf of her family and made a special recognition. “We would not be having this ceremony today if not for a gentleman named Robert Adams. When my dad was shot down in Vietnam he was rescued by Robert Adams.” Gayle continued, “I would like to thank all who had a hand in building this ship, from stem to stern.”

Guest speakers for the event included The Honorable Nancy Mace, U.S Rep. from South Carolina’s 1st District; The Honorable John Tecklenberg, Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina; Mr. George Nungesser, Vice President of Program Management, Ingalls Shipbuilding.

The ship’s sponsors are Mrs. D’Arcy Ann Neller, wife of former Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert “Bob” Neller, USMC (Ret.), and the late Dr. Alicia J. Petersen, Lt. Gen. Petersen’s wife at the time of his passing in 2015. Dr. Petersen passed away in September 2021. Both sponsors participated in the keel laying, mast stepping, and christening ceremonies.

Mrs. Neller thanked the families. “Our service members can’t do what they do without you and your love and support. To the officers and crew. A ship without a crew is like a body without blood. You will all make this ship come alive.” She continued. “The namesake of this ship was a warrior. He always went to the sound of the guns; he was always prepared and smart about the risks he took. You all need to be the same. Always be prepared. Work hard and when the time comes, you will be ready to go into the jaw of the tiger.”

During the ceremony, USS Frank E. Petersen’s commanding officer Cmdr. Daniel Hancock, reported the ship ready. Assisted by Lt. Gen. Petersen’s daughters, Gayle Petersen, Dana Petersen Moore, Lindsay Pulliam, and Monique Petersen, Mrs. Neller gave the traditional order to “Man our ship and bring her to life!”​

“Our incredible crew takes a great deal of pride in their work. I can find no better warrior namesake than General Frank E. Petersen Jr. None of us who know his story have ever forgotten that we are the heirs of that powerful legacy, and like the General, we have committed ourselves to owning the fight and carrying his torch proudly forward,” said Hancock. “I wish to express gratitude and pride. It is my greatest professional honor to serve with each of my crew. I am proud beyond measure. “

Lt. Gen. Petersen continues a family legacy of service begun by his great grandfather. Private Archibald (Archie) Charles McKinney enlisted in 1863 and served in the Mass 55th Company E during the Civil War. McKinney’s trip home included traveling aboard a steamship, disembarking at the Port of Charleston.​

The future USS Frank E. Petersen, Jr. honors Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (USMC Ret.). Petersen was the first black USMC aviator and the first black Marine to become a three-star general. Petersen served two combat tours, Korea in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. He flew more than 350 combat missions and had over 4,000 hours in various fighter and attack aircraft. Petersen passed away in Aug. 2015 at the age of 83.

Retiring in 1988 after 38 years of service, Petersen’s awards included the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with Combat “V”; Distinguished Flying Cross; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V;” and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface.

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USS Beloit Christened and Launched

Ship sponsor Major General Marcia M. Anderson delivers remarks before the christening and launch of the nation’s 29th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Beloit. Lockheed Martin photo

(Original article appears courtesy of Naval News)

The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 29, the future USS Beloit. Ship sponsor, Major General Marcia M. Anderson, USA (Ret.) christened Littoral Combat Ship LCS 29, the future USS Beloit, prior to its launch into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) Shipyard on May 7, 2022.

In 2011, Major General Marcia Anderson was named the first female African American officer to earn her second star in the U.S. Army reserves. When the former Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Richard Spencer, directed that LCS 29 be named after the City of Beloit, he also asked that General Anderson be honored as the ship sponsor.

“Lockheed Martin is confident that the sailors of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 29, the future USS Beloit, will play a critical role in supporting maritime security and deterrence. The LCS Freedom-variant, operationally deployed today, is an unmatched and highly adaptable warship, designed to outpace the growing threat of our adversaries and fulfill the dynamic missions of the U.S. Navy. Our team of more than 800 suppliers maintains a strong partnership with the U.S. Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to the highly capable and resilient LCS class.” 

Steve Allen, Lockheed Martin vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems

Unique among combat ships, LCS is deployed today for close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet. In the last year, Freedom-variant Littoral Combat ships have supported the Navy on various missions including several counter-illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in narcotics seizures. Its speed, strength and versatility make it a critical tool to help sailors achieve their missions. Recently, the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship for the first time has deployed to US 6th Fleet, as a measure of assurance for NATO allies and partners in Europe and Africa.

LCS 29 is the 15th Freedom-variant LCS and 29th in the LCS class. It is the first ship named in honor of the city of Beloit, Wisconsin. Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered 11 ships to the U.S. Navy. There are five ships in various stages of production.

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Commissioning of USS Delaware (SSN 791)

WILMINGTON, Delaware (April 2, 2022) – President of the United States Joe Biden speaks with Sea Cadets following a following a commissioning commemoration ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine USS Delaware (SSN 791) in Wilmington, Delaware April 2, 2022. The initial commissioning took place administratively in April 2020 due to COVID restrictions at the time and is the first submarine to be commissioned while submerged. Delaware, the seventh U.S Navy ship and first submarine named after the first U.S. state of Delaware, is 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. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Joshua Karsten)

(Original article appears courtesy of Navy.mil)

President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and First Lady Jill Biden, the ship sponsor, celebrated the commissioning of the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Delaware (SSN 791) Saturday, April 2, in a ceremony in Wilmington, Delaware.

President Biden previously represented the state of Delaware for 36 years in the U.S. Senate.

Due to COVID restrictions in place at the time, there was no traditional commissioning ceremony held when USS Delaware was commissioned administratively on April 4, 2020. On that day, the submarine was underway and became the first U.S. Navy ship commissioned while submerged.

Saturday’s ceremony followed the script of a traditional commissioning in every way and was held in commemoration of the milestone.

“This latest Navy ship to carry the Delaware name is part of a long tradition of serving our nation proudly and strengthening our nation’s security,” President Biden said. “Not just us, but our allies and partners around the world as well.”

As the ship sponsor, Dr. Jill Biden performed the traditional honor of calling for the crew to man the ship and “bring her to life,” a ceremonial procession following the commemorative setting of the first watch.

“This vessel will always uphold the First State’s motto of ‘Liberty and Independence,’” she said. “It’s difficult to put into words what it means to be a part of the USS Delaware family. It’s an incredible honor that I take seriously. I’ve seen the heart of this crew and it makes me proud and humbled to be your shipmate for life.”

USS Delaware is the 18th Virginia-class submarine built, as well as the eighth and final Block III Virginia-class sub. The Block III submarines are notable for replacing 12 vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) with two larger, 87-inch diameter launch tubes, capable of carrying larger payloads, among other advancements.

“The men who serve — and will serve — aboard the USS Delaware will bear our state’s name for decades to come as they defend our nation,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, the event’s keynote speaker. “Through their sacrifice and service, may we grow even closer to that more perfect union.”

USS Delaware is homeported at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, where it operates under Submarine Squadron 12 and its Commodore, Capt. Matthew Boland.

“The Sailors who power our undersea fleet are an elite breed,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro told those in attendance Saturday. “They’re skilled, they’re disciplined and they’re determined. They make enormous sacrifices, achieving amazing things over the horizon and under the waves.”

Delaware Gov. John Carney, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, were also among the distinguished guests in attendance.

The submarine is the seventh U.S. Navy ship to be named for the First State, but first in more than a century. The first ship to be named Delaware was a 24-gun frigate launched in July of 1776, the month the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

The most recent previous ship to bear the name was a battleship commissioned in 1910 and in service in the Atlantic during World War I.

Cmdr. Matthew Horton, commanding officer of SSN 791, told Saturday’s attendees his submarine followed in the proud wake of the battleship Delaware, which also visited the Port of Wilmington 112 years ago to celebrate her commissioning.

“This week we had the pleasure of sailing through the beautiful Delaware Bay and River, past Fort Delaware, and continuing the tradition of Delaware warships calling on their namesake and presenting our fine warship to the First State,” he said.

“USS Delaware stands before you as the ideal ship,” Horton continued. “Limitless in range; unmatched in power, precision, and stealth. Her engineering renders her nearly undetectable; her sensors reveal the presence of any foes. Capable of dominating across the spectrum of warfare, she excels in all her assigned missions. From the depths of the ocean, ensuring sea control, to delivering precision strikes and supporting naval special warfare.”

Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

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CNO Delivers Remarks at Christening Ceremony for Future USS Jack H. Lucas

A bottle is smashed against the hull of the future Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) at the ship’s christening ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi, March 26. Lucas is the first Flight III guided-missile destroyer, and will be equipped with the most advanced technology and weapons systems. (U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Courtney Hillson/released)

(Original article appears courtesy of Navy.mil)

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday attended and delivered remarks at the christening ceremony for the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) in Pascagoula, Mississippi, March. 26.

This ceremony marks the first christening of a Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.

The ship is named in honor of Private First Class Jacklyn Harold “Jack” Lucas, who served as a U.S. Marine during World War II and was awarded the Medal of Honor at the age of 17.  Private First Class Lucas earned the award during the Iwo Jima campaign, when he hurled himself on two grenades in order to absorb the explosion with his own body and protect his fellow Marines. Lucas survived and lived until June 5, 2008, when he passed away after a battle with cancer.

“This ship represents our nation’s strength, grit, tenacity, and is a tangible example of Lucas’ legacy,” said Gilday.  “For a ship that aspires to shield our Sailors and defend freedom, the name Jack H. Lucas is not only fitting, but a standard of bravery and toughness for which the ship, captain and crew will always strive.”

Gilday explained destroyers are multi-mission warships, built around its state-of-the-art Aegis Combat System. The Navy has continued to build upon this platform as the Father of Aegis, Admiral Wayne E. Meyer would have preferred, by continuing to “Build a Little, Test a Little, Learn a Lot,” with each successive flight upgrade.

The Flight III upgrade is centered on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar and incorporates upgrades to the electrical power and cooling capacity, as well as additional changes that enhance warfighting capabilities.

“Such advances would not be possible without the ship builders of Ingalls Shipbuilding and the people of Pascagoula,” said Gilday.  “You have built the finest destroyer in the world, our job now is to get the crew ready, trained, qualified and out-to-sea for tasking.”

In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsors, Ms. Ruby Lucas and Ms. Catherine B. Reynolds christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

The Honorable Meredith Berger, Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy gave remarks at the ceremony, as well as Major General Jason Bohm, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command; and Ms. Kari Wilkinson, President of Ingalls Shipbuilding; Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, and Mississippi Fourth District Representative Steven Palazzo.

“The future USS Jack H. Lucas represents pride, patriotism and love for this country,” said Berger. “His legacy carries on through his family, his friends, and the Sailors who will sail this future ship and lead the Nation in warfighting excellence.”

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW). Destroyers play a significant role in strike warfare. DDG 125 is the first ship built in the Flight III configuration, which will provide significantly enhanced anti-air warfare capability.  Flight III is the fourth Flight upgrade in the 30+ year history of the class, building on the proud legacy of Flight I, II and IIA ships before it.

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