By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, September 22, 2016, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) announced that a future Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) will be named after the City of Mobile. The Independence-variant of the LCS is built in Mobile by Austal USA.
Congressman Byrne said in a statement, “It is such an honor for a future Littoral Combat Ship to be named after the City of Mobile. Our area takes such pride in building these fine ships, just the latest vessel in Mobile’s long history of shipbuilding. I know the spirit and patriotism of Mobile will be encapsulated in this ship. I appreciate Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus for working with us to make this possible, and I look forward to one day standing in the Mobile waterfront to christen and commission this fine ship.”
US Senator Jeff Sessions (R from Alabama) said, “I am extremely proud that the United States Navy has chosen to name the next Littoral Combat Ship USS MOBILE. I am very happy for the city and the honor they have received. Mobile and her citizens have made tremendous efforts over the last decade to provide our Navy with cutting edge warfighting ships like the LCS. Mobile has been a tireless and strong partner to Austal to ensure the program’s success. This great collaboration among the local community, maritime industry, and the state of Alabama is wonderfully recognized in this naming. I express my profound appreciation to the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, for this honor to my home city. I also want to thank Congressman Bradley Byrne and his wife Rebecca Byrne for their hard work throughout this process. Secretary Mabus wisely chose a wonderful sponsor for the MOBILE in Rebecca Byrne.”
Sen. Sessions concluded, “Mary and I look forward to the day when she will sail the oceans, representing Mobile, Alabama, and the United States to the world.”
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said, “It is a great day, not just a great day for us in the City to have another ship named the USS Mobile, but it is a reflection of our entire community and the people that are working to build these ships at Austal. I think we all know that Mobile is a very patriotic city. When I think of the sailors who will man this ship, who will defend our country, serving on it, they can rest assured that some of the finest ship builders in America built this ship they are serving on and that Mobilians along with other Americans, appreciate what they do. We are just grateful that we have another ship named the USS Mobile. Thank you Secretary Mabus.”
There are currently, two different versions of the LCS. On is built by Austal USA in Mobile and the other is built by Marinette Marine in Wisconsin.
The Independence-class LCS has a top speed of 44 knots, carries a crew of just 40 sailors, and can be specially configured for mine sweeping, sub hunting, operating unmanned aerial vehicles, operating helicopters, and can support Marine or Special forces operations. The cost is $704 million each, although the original navy estimate was that the LCS would cost just $220 million each. The smaller lighter LCS can operate in shallower waters closer to shore, the “littoral combat zone.”
The announcement came from the Secretary of the Navy today during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Another LCS will be named after the City of Marinette, Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant of the LCS is built.
Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.