The Navy will christen its all-new Independence variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32), during a ceremony at 10 a.m. CDT on Saturday, October 16 in Mobile, Alabama.
The Honorable Meredith Berger, serving as Under Secretary of the Navy, will deliver the opening address at the ceremony. Remarks will also be provided by Vice-Admiral Jeffrey Trussler, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare; the Honorable Oscar Gutierrez, Pro Tempore Mayor of the City of Santa Barbara, California .; and Mr. Rusty Murdaugh, President of Austal, United States.
Lolita Zinke, wife of former Home Secretary Ryan Zinke and sponsor of the ship, will participate in a centuries-old Navy tradition to christen the ship by smashing a bottle of sparkling wine through the bow.
âTomorrow we will name the third USS Santa Barbara, after the beautiful coastal city of central California,â said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. âIn doing so, we come one step closer to welcoming a new ship into the naval service and transitioning the platform from a simple hull number to a ship with a name and a spirit. There is no doubt that future sailors aboard this ship will carry the same values ââof honor, courage and commitment defended by the crews of a previous ship that bore this name.
LCS is a fast, agile and mission-driven platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, maritime control and deterrence.
The LCS class consists of two variations, Freedom and Independence, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for odd hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and subsequent even hulls).
The LCS 32 is the 16th LCS in the Freedom variant and the 32nd in the LCS class. It is the third Navy ship named in honor of the city of Santa Barbara. The first USS Santa Barbara (Id. No. 4522) was a single-screw steel cargo ship that entered service with the Navy on April 15, 1918, in New York. The ship made four round trips to Europe during and after World War I and was decommissioned on August 6, 1919 and returned to its owners. Later renamed American, the ship was sunk by German submarine torpedoes off the east coast of British Honduras (now Belize) on June 11, 1942. The second USS Santa Barbara (AE-28) was commissioned July 11, 1970. The Kilauea-class munitions ship completed its deployments in the Mediterranean, Western Pacific and Caribbean before being decommissioned in 1998.
Media can direct questions to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. You can find more information about the Littoral Combat Ship program at: https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Fact-Files/Display-FactFiles/Article/2171607/littoral-combat-ship-class-lcs/.