USS Gabrielle Giffords, the US Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, has been commissioned.
Adm. William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations said:
“As we man the rails today, blood gets pumped, the ship comes alive, and the heart begins to beat,” said Moran. “It’s the blood that is infused by the spirit, the attitude, and the courage of its namesake. We are so proud to be part of Gabrielle Giffords’ legacy to the United States.”
In 2012 the Secretary of the Navy announced the future ship’s name, and USS Gabrielle Giffords became the 16th ship to be named for a woman and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850.
Cmdr. Keith Woodley said:
“This is not just a new ship. This is a new class of ship and that makes it even more challenging for the crew,” said Woodley. “They have risen to that challenge and performed exceptionally well in getting this ship ready for service.”
Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Mark Dobrinin said:
“It’s not easy being an LCS Sailor. We have to wear so many hats and be trained on systems and duties outside of our normal job specialty due to the small crew size. Every enlisted Sailor here volunteered for the program and we’re excited to serve on USS Gabrielle Giffords.”
The 3,200-ton Gabrielle Giffords was built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The ship is 421 feet in length and has a beam of 103 feet and a navigational draft of 15 feet. The ship uses two gas turbine and two diesel engines to power four steerable waterjets to speeds in excess of 40 knots.
The US Navy say about the vessel:
“Littoral combat ships are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking, and win against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft.
A fast, maneuverable, and networked surface combatant, Gabrielle Giffords is capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. It is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.”
USS Gabrielle Giffords will depart Galveston and begin her transit to her homeport in San Diego.