The Navy christened littoral combat ship (LCS) Montgomery, Nov. 8, during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.
Adm. Michelle Howard, vice chief of naval operations, delivered the principal address at the ceremony. Mary Sessions, wife of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala), served as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by Mary Sessions breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, which is a time-honored Navy tradition.
The selection of Montgomery honors the capital city of Alabama, and will be the second ship to bear the city’s name.
“As we christen the future USS Montgomery, we not only celebrate a great Southern capital, but also the highly skilled and dedicated shipbuilders who have worked so hard to bring this day to fruition,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said. “Their efforts have ensured that this great ship, an irreplaceable platform in our future Navy and our eighth littoral combat ship, will represent the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and our nation, around the world for years to come.”
Designated LCS 8, Montgomery is designed to operate in shallow water environments to counter challenging threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft. The ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Montgomery will address critical capability gaps in the littorals. Carrying out the Navy’s mission, it will serve to enhance maritime security by deterring hostility in troubled waters, maintaining a forward presence, and by its ability to maintain sea control.