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

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

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

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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USS Savannah Commissioned in Georgia

BRUNSWICK, Ga., (Feb. 5, 2022) Sailors assigned to Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Savannah (LCS 28) man the rails during Savannah’s commissioning ceremony. Savannah is the Navy’s 14th Independence-variant littoral combat ship. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James S. Hong)

(Article appears courtesy of USNI)

The Navy commissioned USS Savannah (LCS-28) on Saturday in Brunswick, Ga., the sea service announced.

The ship is the 14th Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship to enter the fleet, according to a news release from the Navy. It is the sixth ship to bear the name Savannah.

The ship was delivered to the Navy by Austal USA in June 2021. Austral constructed Savannah at its Mobile, Ala., shipyard in fewer than three years, according to a news release from the company.

While the ship was commissioned in Brunswick, it will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego, Calif. It is sponsored by Dianne Davison Isakson, the wife of the late Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

Isakson, as well as her daughter, gave the first order for manning the ship. They were joined by Rep. Earl Carter (R-Ga.), Meredith Berger, who is performing the duties of the under secretary of the Navy, Naval Air Systems Command chief Vice Adm. Carl Chebi, Mayor of Savannah Van Johnson and Larry Ryder, the vice president of business development and external affairs at Austal USA.

Savannah’s namesake is the city in Georgia, which has played a role in the country’s naval history, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in the release.

“I have no doubt the Sailors of USS Savannah (LCS 28) will carry on the fighting spirit of this city and will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom,” Del Toro said.

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Navy Commissions USS Kansas City

Tracy Davidson, the ship sponsor of USS Kansas City (LCS 22), delivers the order to man the ship and bring her to life during a commissioning commemoration ceremony in San Diego, Dec. 17, 2021. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Vance Hand)

(Original article appears courtesy of

The Navy celebrated the commissioning of Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Kansas City (LCS 22), Dec. 17, at Naval Base San Diego.

Kansas City was administratively commissioned on June 20, 2020, but due to restrictions on large gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time, no traditional commissioning ceremony was held.

“It is important that we are taking the time now to fully celebrate this final milestone for Kansas City and to properly welcome her to sunny San Diego,” said Meredith Berger, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy and as the event’s keynote speaker.

In addition to Berger, Vice Adm. Ross Myers, Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Fleet and a Kansas City native, was among those who spoke at the ceremony. Fifth District U.S. Representative (MO) Emanuel Cleaver II and Mayor of Kansas City Quinton Lucas were able to speak virtually at the ceremony.

Myers spoke of Kansas City’s accomplishments and milestones, as well as the contributions of the crew thus far.

“The dedication professionalism, and sacrifice you display have fueled the ship’s success already,” Meyers said. “The pandemic did not stop the crew from making an immediate and positive impact.”

Since its administrative commissioning, USS Kansas City has been an active littoral combat ship in the U.S. Navy, including successful completion of certifications and participation in exercise Resolute Hunter in November 2021.

Kansas City is the 11th of the Independence-variant to join the fleet and second ship to be named for Kansas City. The name Kansas City was assigned to a heavy cruiser during World War II. However, construction was canceled after one month due to the end of the war. The name Kansas City was also assigned to the Wichita-class replenishment oiler AOR-3 in 1967. This ship saw service in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and was decommissioned in 1994.

Kansas City was christened in a traditional ceremony at Austal shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, on Sept. 22, 2018.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be the sponsor of USS Kansas City and I am thrilled to finally be here,” said Tracey Davidson, the ship sponsor.

USS Kansas City is 377 feet long, has a 103-foot beam and can operate at speeds in excess of 40 knots. She has a crew of approximately 70 personnel.

“Thank you so much to everyone who supported us, the persistence to honor the ship in this commemoration was unyielding’” said Capt. Christopher Brusca, the commanding officer of USS Kansas City.

To ensure the health and safety of the crew and all those in attendance during the ceremony on Friday, attendance was limited and no public or media tours were held. Masks were required in all indoor spaces and encouraged in outdoor spaces.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

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USS Daniel Inouye Commissioned at Pearl Harbor

The crew of the Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer, USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), man the rails during the commissioning ceremony of USS Daniel Inouye. Homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, DDG 118 is the first U.S. Navy warship to honor the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, a U.S. senator from Hawaii who served from 1962 until his death in 2012. During World War II, Inouye served in the U.S. Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of the most decorated military units in U.S. history. For his combat heroism, which cost him his right arm, Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nick Bauer)

(Original article appears courtesy of

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Dec. 8, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. 

More than 1,000 guests including service members, veterans, and their families witnessed as the Navy’s 69th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer joined the fleet.

The ship honors the local hero and statesman, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. Sen. Inouye was a U.S. senator from Hawaii who served in congress from 1962 until his death in 2012. During World War II, Inouye served in the U.S. Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of the most decorated military units in U.S. history. For his combat heroism, which cost him his right arm, Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor.

During the ceremony, Ken Inouye, Daniel Inouye’s son, thanked the crew and the commissioning committee for honoring his father.

“I hope that in the spirit of aloha and the spirit of ohana you all consider yourselves a part of our ohana,” said Inouye.

Guest speakers for the event also included the governor of Hawaii, David Ige, Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, and Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Paparo and Del Toro spoke about the Inouye’s capabilities as a warfighting vessel in the Pacific fleet.

“This ship, the USS Daniel Inouye, will join the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Indo-Pacom joint team,” said Paparo. “This ship and its crew are ready to assume its critical mission: The defense and safeguarding of the well-being and interests of our nation.”

“As a former destroyer captain, I know first hand about the ability, versatility and distributive power this ship will add to our deterrent capabilities,” said Del Toro. “There is absolutely no more of a fitting name for this ship than Sen. Inouye.”

Prior to her passing on April 7, 2020, Sen. Inouye’s wife, Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye, executed her duties as the ship’s sponsor by establishing a strong bond with the crew during traditional shipbuilding milestones at Bath Iron Works. At the keel laying in 2018, she welded her initials into the keel of the ship. In 2019, Irene broke a bottle of champagne on the bow in a christening ceremony bestowing the name on the ship. During a “mast stepping” ceremony, she placed items special to Sen. Inouye in the ship’s mast.

Mrs. Inouye appointed two Matrons of Honor to assist her with her sponsorship duties: Jessica Inouye, the wife of Senator Inouye’s only son Ken, and Jennifer Sabas, Senator Inouye’s former chief of staff and current executive director of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute.

“I ask that the crew be confident, yet humble. Take initiative, but be a team player. Remember that compassion and kindness are not weakness, and learn to disagree without being disagreeable,” said Sabas. “Those were the values the senator lived by.”

During the ceremony, the senator’s granddaughter and ceremonial maid of honor, 11-year-old Maggie Inouye, gave the traditional order, “Man our ship and bring her to life!”

After reporting the ship ready for duty, the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. DonAnn Gilmore recognized her crew’s hard work.

“No captain could ask for more. You have embodied the motto ‘Go for Broke’ at every challenge,” said Gilmore. “I have to look no further than the rails of the ship behind me to renew my faith in humanity and to maintain my confidence in our country’s future.”

The commissioning ceremony coincided with 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Remembrance commemoration events and caps a weeklong series of events celebrating the ship and its namesake. On December 7, 1941, Inouye was a 17-year-old senior at Honolulu’s McKinley High School, and rushed to a Red Cross aid station to help civilians and Sailors wounded in the attack.

USS Daniel Inouye, the first U.S. warship to bear its name, is nearly 510 feet in length and has a navigational draft of 33 feet. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet and critical to the future Navy. They are highly capable, multi-mission ships, and 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.

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USS Marinette Christened

Ship Sponsor, The Honorable Jennifer Granholm breaks a bottle of sparkling wine on the bow of LCS 25 during the christening ceremony for the future USS Marinette. (Lockheed Martin photograph)

(Original article appears courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 25, the future USS Marinette, completed its next milestone when ship sponsor, the Honorable Jennifer Granholm christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine on the bow of LCS 25 in a ceremony at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. Prior to the christening, the Lockheed Martin-led (NYSE: LMT) team launched the ship into the water on Oct. 31, 2020. LCS 25 is slated to begin acceptance trials next year.

“Today’s christening of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 25, the future USS Marinette, marks the next critical milestone in the life of this warship. It’s an honor to celebrate this moment with the many hardworking men and women who both built the Marinette and call this great city home. The Lockheed Martin team is proud of our continued partnership with the U.S. Navy to support enhanced warfighting capabilities to this highly capable class of Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships.” –Steve Allen, Lockheed Martin Vice President, Small Combatants and Ship Systems

“Building LCS 25 and sister ships for the U.S. Navy is an honor and we are proud to be the nation’s shipyard in the heartland. It is especially memorable to have this ship be named for the great town it’s built in. This christening is a testament to the hard work of more than 2,500 shipbuilders who pass through our gates and build American warships.” – Mark Vandroff, Fincantieri Marinette Marine CEO

Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet.

  • It is flexible—with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, LCS can be modified to integrate capabilities including over-the-horizon missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems (SEWIP) and decoys (Nulka), and in future, vertical launching systems or laser weapon systems.
  • It is fast—capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
  • It is automated—with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
  • It is lethal—standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.

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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Future USNS Apalachicola Christened

Austal USA christened Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF-13) USNS Apalachicola during a ceremony at its state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility on Nov. 13. AUSTAL USA

(Original article appears courtesy of Seapower Magazine)

 Austal USA christened Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF-13) USNS Apalachicola during a ceremony at its state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility Nov. 13, the company said in a release.  Austal has delivered twelve EPFs since December 2012. USNS Apalachicola is slated for delivery this summer. 

Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, ship sponsor of USNS Apalachicola, performed the ceremonial bottle break over the bow of the ship, the 13th EPF designed and constructed by Austal USA and the second U.S. Navy ship to be named after the Florida coast city. The first Navy ship named Apalachicola (YTB-767), A Natick-class large harbor tug, was also built in Mobile at Mobile Ship Repair in 1963. 

“Today we celebrate the christening of the 13th EPF with an Austal team of more than 3,000 employees,” said Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh. “Apalachicola’s sister ships are successfully supporting naval commands on the U.S. East and West Coasts, along with forward deployments in the Middle East, Africa, Mediterranean, South America, and Asia regions. In the coming months, this highly complex, high-speed ship will join the others to support our great Navy.” 

EPFs have performed humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, counter narcotics, and additional operations in almost every region of the world. A unique characteristic of EPF 13 is that Austal USA has been contracted to design, procure, implement, and demonstrate EPF 13 as an autonomous platform, allowing EPF 13 to operate autonomously while retaining the capability for manned operation, reducing cost and centralizing ship operations to the bridge. 

Apalachicola is one of two Expeditionary Fast Transport ships Austal USA is currently building for the U.S. Navy, while the start of construction on the future USNS Point Loma (EPF 15) will commence at the end of this month. Five littoral combat ships (LCS) are also under various stages of construction at the Gulf Coast shipyard. 

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Submarine New Jersey Christened

Crew members of pre-commissioning unit New Jersey (SSN 796) attended the christening ceremony Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at Newport News Shipbuilding division. (HII)

(Original article appears courtesy of the Daily Press)

Sponsor Susan DiMarco needed two swings of a bottle of sparkling wine to christen the Navy’s next attack submarine, the New Jersey.

The first in-person christening of a warship at Newport News Shipbuilding during the pandemic provided a chance to reflect on challenging times — and move through them.ADVERTISING

Christening the vessel, now officially the Virginia-class submarine New Jersey, means it is ready to take to the water — on schedule to be delivered to the Navy next year.

“Let’s remember our shared strength,” DiMarco told the crowd of 1,800 sailors, shipbuilders and folks from New Jersey who gathered on a windy Saturday morning behind Bay 4 of the Module Outfitting Facility to celebrate.

Then, shipyard president Jennifer Boykin called out: “Let’s christen this Jersey girl!”

Christening starts the final sprint for the shipyard and submarine crew, with slightly less than 20% of work still to be completed, along with the extensive testing required before any warship can be commissioned as a “United States ship.”ADVERTISING

“The future USS New Jersey will be a critical, some might say the most critical, arrow in our quiver,” Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the crowd.

“We face an adversary we have not seen before,” he said, while “recent events moved us closer to a breaking point” for American democracy than he had ever thought possible.

New Jersey is the 23rd Virginia-class fast-attack submarine, and the 11th boat to be delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding under a unique partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Connecticut. Newport News builds the bow, stern, sail and nuclear propulsion sections of the boats, while the two yards alternate final assembly.

“I’m glad to see the teaming agreement work so well,” Mullen said, adding that the first days of the pact, now spanning two decades, were difficult.

“Challenging times often feel like time is standing still … but milestones like today remind us that we are moving forward,” said Boykin.

Despite the pandemic, shipbuilders and suppliers “remained laser focused on meeting our commitment to the U.S. Navy — that’s moving forward,” she added. “The first Virginia-class submarine designed for male and female sailors, that’s moving forward,” she said. “New Jersey defines what made in America means.”

New Jersey will move into a floating dry dock to begin its final fitting out in the next few weeks — it’ll take three days for some 56 heavy duty sets of railcar wheels to move the 7,800 ton submarine the 960 feet to the dry dock.

On Friday, Cmdr. Carlos Otero and Master Chief Hamilton Felt did their walk-through of their submarine.

“Last week, there was still scaffolding up, there were tubes and pipes dangling everywhere, like a patient on life support,” said Felt. “Now, she looks like she’s ready to come to life.”

For Felt, seeing New Jersey free itself from its scaffolding and tubes and pipes is a big deal. He’s been at the yard since 2019, watching as 4,000 shipbuilders turned steel into a submarine.

“I’ve seen them put the pieces together to make the bow and stern,” he said. Those are the parts of all Virginia-class submarines that, along with the sail and the nuclear propulsion compartments, Newport News builds as part of its partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat yard, in Connecticut.

“Then I saw them assemble everything here,” he added. Newport News and Electric Boat alternate assembly of Virginia-class submarines, as part of their unique teaming relationship. The New Jersey is the 11th Virginia-class submarine Newport News assembled.

The Navy and Congress would like to step up the pace of Virginia-class sub output, a five-year production process that delivers two boats a year, and shipyard officials already are eyeing Bay 4 for work on yet another sub.

The bay next to New Jersey is filled by the submarine Massachusetts — in fact, that’s where many of foreman Patrick Veloso’s second-shift crew are already at work.

“It’s a little like an assembly line,” said Veloso, a native of Newark, New Jersey. But it can be years between the time he and his teammates do one particular job on one sub before they have to do it again on the next in line, so it really doesn’t feel that way.

“Every one is different,” the 12-year veteran of submarine construction said. “And I think we get better and better with each one.”

Nuclear testing engineer Nicholas Panagotopulos, who joined the yard just a year ago, working on some of the final complete-systems testing of the nuclear propulsion system, is also concentrating on the Massachusetts these days.

But it was a big deal for the New Jersey native to work on a submarine named for his home state.

“When I was a kid, we used to go to the battleship New Jersey,” he said. “It was such a monumental piece of work. And now, I got to work on another monumental one.”

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