The Navy will christen its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Feb. 29, in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Mrs. Alba Tull will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Tull will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow. Ms. Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, will deliver the christening ceremony’s principal address.
“The christening of the future USS Cooperstown marks an important step toward this great ship’s entry into the fleet,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. “The dedication and skilled work of everyone involved in the building of this ship has ensured that it will represent the great city of Cooperstown and serve our Navy and Marine Corps team for decades to come.”
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. 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 the U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin, (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS 23 is the 12th Freedom-variant LCS, the 23rd in the class. She is the first ship named in honor of Cooperstown, New York. Cooperstown received its name on July 25, 2015, during a ceremony at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which is located in Cooperstown. Her name honors the veterans who are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame located in the namesake city. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.