The Navy christened its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), during a 10:00 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, in Mobile, Alabama.
The principal speaker was Cincinnati Councilmember David Mann, also a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio.
Mann presented the ship a key to the city, a history of previous USS Cincinnati vessels, several medallions of sentimental value, and a letter from the mayor.
During what’s commonly called a “mast stepping” ceremony, the items will be included in a small aluminum box that will be welded to the inside of the ship’s mast like a time capsule.
Mann served four years in the Navy, including on the destroyer the USS English (DD-696) where he was deployed to Cuban waters during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
(Learn More. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program is a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs based on its use of innovative acquisition, construction, manning, training and operational concepts. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy and YouTube)
Former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker served as the ship’s sponsor, and in a time-honored Navy tradition, she christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
“The future USS Cincinnati is a symbol of the strong connection between the people of Cincinnati and the Navy and Marine Corps team,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer.
“The ship serves as a testament to our commitment to growing the Fleet and our partnership with industry and the American public.”
The future USS Cincinnati is the fifth U.S. Navy ship to honor Ohio’s third largest city.
- The first was a stern-wheel casemate gunboat that served during the Civil War and was sunk by Confederate fire on two separate occasions.
- Raised both times and returned to service, she was decommissioned following the war.
- The second Cincinnati was a cruiser commissioned in 1894.
- She served extensively in the Caribbean before, during, and after the Spanish-American War before being decommissioned in 1919.
- The third ship to bear the name was a light cruiser commissioned in 1924 that served around the world and earned a battle star for World War II service that included convoy escort and blockade duty.
- She was decommissioned in 1945 after the war ended.
- The fourth Cincinnati was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine commissioned in 1978. The boat served for 17 years before being decommissioned in 1995.
A littoral combat ship is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant designed to conduct surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare (SUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region.
An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas.
The ship includes two LM2500 marine gas turbine engines built at GE Aviation in Evendale.
(Footage of Independence-variant littoral combat ships USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Coronado (LCS 4) and USS Jackson (LCS 6), with images courtesy of US Navy and National Geographic Channel. Credit: Austal and YouTube)