WASHINGTON - The Navy will christen the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Coronado, Saturday, Jan. 14, during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony in Mobile, Ala.
The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition, Sean Stackley, will deliver the principal address at the ceremony. Susan Keith will serve as the ship's sponsor. Additionally, Keith helped launch the Coronado Historical Association's "Home of a Naval Aviator" sign project and grew up with her father and stepfather serving in the Navy. Vice Adm. Stanhope C. Ring, her father, was a pilot who commanded an aircraft carrier air group during the Battle of Midway during World War II. Her stepfather, Rear Adm. Aaron Putnam "Put" Storrs III, belonged to the Navy's first aerial acrobatic team, which was the forerunner of the Blue Angels. The ceremony will be highlighted by Keith breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship, which is a time-honored maritime tradition.
The ship's name recognizes the city of Coronado, Calif., and honors the city's deep ties to the U.S. Navy. Coronado has been home to Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Amphibious Base, since 1917. Two previous ships have been named after this city: USS Coronado, a Tacoma-class patrol frigate, earned four battle stars for supporting landings in New Guinea and Leyte during World War II and the USS Coronado, an Austin-class amphibious transport dock later re-designated as an auxiliary command ship, served as flagship for the Third Fleet and was decommissioned in 2006.
Designated LCS 4, Coronado is an innovative surface combatant designed to operate in littoral seas and shallow water to counter mines, submarines and fast surface craft threats in coastal regions. The ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Coronado will address a critical capabilities gap in the littorals and conduct the Navy's mission to enhance maritime security by deterring hostility, maintaining a forward presence, projecting power and maintaining sea control.
A fast, agile, and high-technology surface combatant, Coronado will be a platform for the launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles. To meet increased demand for mission-tailored packages, its modular design will allow the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine countermeasures, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis. The LCS class ships have the ability to swap out mission packages in a matter of days - adapting as the tactical situation demands. The modular approach allows the Navy to incorporate new and improved systems into the fleet as advanced technologies mature, providing flexibility and evolving capability.
Coronado will be manned by two rotational crews, Blue and Gold, similar to the rotational crews assigned to large submarines. These core crews are augmented by one of the three types of mission package crews and an aviation detachment. The commanding officer of the Blue crew will be Cmdr. John Kochendorfer, from Dana Point, Calif. The commanding officer of the Gold crew will be Cmdr. Michael "Shawn" Johnston, from North Carolina. After commissioning, the ship will be homeported in San Diego, Calif.
Constructed by General Dynamics in the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala., Coronado is the second of the Independence-variant in the LCS class.
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For additional information about this class of ship, please visit the Navy Fact File at: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1650&ct=4