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​​170722-N-CM227-0240 SAN DIEGO (July 22, 2017) Anthony Sweetman, a six year old San Diegan, talks with Petty Officer 1st Class Juli Putz about Navy ships. Putz is a Reservist from Albuquerque working as a tour guide on the USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) during public visitation tours. Giffords is the newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship and one of seven LCS homeported in San Diego (U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Marie A. Montez/ Released)
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USS Gabrielle Giffords Hosts Ship Tours in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (July 25, 2017) -- The littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) opened its doors to nearly 3,000 San Diego residents and tourists while moored at the Broadway Pie​r in downtown San Diego, July 22-23.

The open visitation event came a month after the ship’s June 10 commissioning in Galveston, Texas and just a few week's after the ship's arrival to San Diego where Giffords became the Navy’s newest Independence-variant LCS to join the fleet. The tours offered guests the opportunity to see the ship and talk with Sailors.

“We’re excited to be here and show what we do. We hope to present ourselves as normal, average Joes and average Joanns that civilians can relate to and find a connection with because we’re just like them,” said Cmdr. Kevin Meehan, commanding officer of littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10). “It just so happens that we’re committed to the nation’s defense.”

Ship tours like this can help to strengthen the bond between the military and the local community and help educate the public on the capabilities of ships like the LCS.

“What I’ve found is that a lot of the public doesn’t know what LCS is all about and what we actually do,” said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Louis Alvarez. “This warship only has a crew of 54 people on it and we take care of everything on board. We’re such a small crew that they don’t understand how that works.”

While many visitors expressed how excited they were to get to tour such a new vessel, 15-year-old local Sabrina Taylor may have been the most enthusiastic. That energy scored her an invite to do a live Twitter video with the ship’s commanding officer as he welcomed people to come tour the ship and meet his Sailors.

“I just love the Navy and I love this ship. It looks so cool. I love all the Sailors here,” Taylor said after the live-feed. “I can’t wait to look around. Thanks for letting us come on your ship.”

The excitement seemed to resonate with crewmembers.

“The ship is great and I love giving tours. I’m very happy to be here meeting the public. I want to give them as much information about the ship as I can because I’m proud of it,” Alvarez said.

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) is one of seven LCS homeported in San Diego. LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provide a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.

For more information on USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lcs10/Pages/default.aspx.

For more news from Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lcsron1/Pages/default.aspx.

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy,   or www.twitter.com/usnavy.​

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