SAN DIEGO – More than 70 city officials and business leaders from the Mobile, Alabama area Chamber of Commerce, including the Mobile Mayor, Sandy Stimpson, visited littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2), Oct. 3.
The tour of the first LCS built in Mobile was just one part of the group’s several day visit to San Diego for the 2017 Intercity Visit which brings together community and business leaders to exchange best practices and lessons learned with their counterparts.
Cmdr. Emily Cathey, Independence’s commanding officer, and a native of Statesville, North Carolina, was appreciative of the opportunity to host the leaders of Mobile, and to show them the efforts of her crew.
“We truly enjoyed having Mobile leaders tour our ship,” said Cathey. “The connection between Mobile and Independence was forged during the creation of this ship, and it was wonderful to see how much Mobile leadership still feels connected to Indy. They were impressed with all of Independence’s capabilities and also noted the evident hard work that my amazing crew puts forth day in and day out. Being the first of her variant brings about many requests for visits and tours, but today’s visit was especially noteworthy and not one that we will soon forget.”
During the tour, guests visited the bridge and the flight deck and heard about some of the ship’s accomplishments and achievements, as well as the ship’s expanding role as a test ship for the LCS program.
Visitors said they were impressed with the ship and were excited to see a ship built in their hometown now directly contributing and doing important work for the U.S. Navy and the nation.
“It was awesome! I’ve seen a ship before, but what this brought home with me is that I saw members of the Navy onboard. It’s a really big deal because they are trying to protect lives, but the ship is also here to protect them. And that just brought it home,” said Merceria Ludgood, president of the Mobile County Commission. “Everyone was courteous and well-informed. Even though, I’ve been on a ship before, I learned a lot. I learned a whole lot.”
Ens. Tyler Self, from Louisville, Kentucky, assisted in leading the day’s tour and jumped at the chance to show the visitors what it takes to keep the ship going.
“They were all so nice,” said Self. “It was wonderful to show them what their town helped built. They were all interested and asking plenty of questions. It feels good to show the ship to someone who definitely appreciated it.”
Independence is the second LCS ship and the first in the Independence-variant. She is the sixth ship to be named Independence. 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 provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.
For more news from Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lcsron1/Pages/default.aspx
For more news from USS Independence, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lcs2/Pages/default.aspx
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