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WASHINGTON - The Navy will commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combatship (LCS), the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Oct. 5, on the west pier in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The principal speaker will be Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio. Former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will serve as the ship's sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored naval tradition when Pritzker gives the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
"USS Cincinnati and her crew will play an important role in the defense ofour nation and maritime freedom," said Secretary of the Navy Richard V.Spencer. "She stands as proof of what teamwork -- from civilian to contractorto military -- can accomplish. This fast, agile platform will deliver her motto, 'Strength in Unity' worldwide thanks to their efforts."
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 servedduring the Civil War and was sunk by Confederate fire on two separate occasions. Raised both times and returned to service, she was decommissionedfollowing 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 tobear the name was a light cruiser commissioned in 1924 that served aroundthe world and earned a battle star for World War II service that includedconvoy 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 beingdecommissioned in 1995.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and minecountermeasures missions in the littoral region.
An interchangeable missionpackage is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems inone of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles togain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and theIndependence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and thesubsequent even-numbered hulls).