The United States Navy plans to christen its newest aircraft carrier, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and its newest littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS 26) in separate ceremonies this Saturday, Dec. 7.
LCS 26 will be christened in a 10 a.m. CST ceremony in Mobile, Alabama where U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne will deliver the principal address and his wife, Rebecca Byrne, will serve as the ship’s sponsor and christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
”USS Mobile is a marvel of engineering,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. ”She will extend our capabilities for any mission, from the middle of the ocean to the shallowest of waters, enhancing our ability to project power ashore and at sea. This Independence-class LCS will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world.”
LCS 26 is the 13th Independence-variant LCS and the 26th in the class. It is the fifth ship named in honor of the port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The first Mobile was a side wheel steamer that operated as a Confederate government operated blockade runner. It was captured by U.S. forces at New Orleans in April 1862, commissioned as Tennessee and later renamed Mobile. The second Mobile was a passenger liner operated by Hamburg Amerika Lines between Germany and the United States until the outbreak of World War I. It was taken over by the Allied Maritime Council and assigned to the United States after the Armistice and commissioned March 1919. The third Mobile (CL 63) was commissioned March 24, 1943. It participated in numerous campaigns in the Pacific during World War II and received 11 battle stars for her service by the time she was decommissioned May 1947. The fourth Mobile (LKA 115) was an amphibious cargo ship that served from September 1969 until decommissioning in February 1994.
CVN 79 will have its ceremony at 11 a.m. EST in Newport News, Virginia where Former NASA Administrator Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, USMC (Ret.), will deliver the ceremony’s keynote address. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy’s daughter, will serve as the ship’s sponsor and break a bottle of American sparkling wine against a plate welded to the hull.
CVN 79 is the second aircraft carrier to honor President John F. Kennedy for a lifetime of service to the nation. The president wore the uniform of our nation as a Navy lieutenant during World War II and served as the 35th President of the United States, from January 1961 to November 1963.
”USS John F. Kennedy will carry the legacy of its namesake and the power of our nation,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. ”The advanced technology and warfighting capabilities this aircraft carrier brings to our global challenges will strengthen our allies and partners, extend our reach against potential adversaries, and further the global mission of our integrated naval force.”
Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division, the Gerald R. Ford class incorporates advances in technology, such as a new propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, radars and integrated warfare systems.