The Navy will commission Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Independence, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, during an 11 a.m. CST ceremony at Cooper Riverside Park in Mobile, Ala.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Doreen Scott, wife of the former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry Scott, will serve as ship’s sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Five previous ships have been named Independence, which recognizes the cornerstone of our nation’s foundation that many Americans have sacrificed to ensure. The first Independence was a 10-gun sloop that served during the War of Independence. The second Independence, the first ship of the line in the Navy, was launched in 1814 as a 74-gun ship, but later refitted to a 54-gun frigate. The third Independence served with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service following the end of World War I. The fourth Independence (CVL 22), a small aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943, earned eight battle stars during World War II. The fifth Independence (CV 62) was an aircraft carrier commissioned in 1959 and decommissioned in 1998.
The Navy officially accepted delivery of the future USS Independence (LCS 2) Dec. 18, 2009, in Mobile. Independence is the second of two sea frames being produced, and the first LCS of the General Dynamics variant. USS Freedom (LCS 1), the Lockheed Martin variant, was commissioned Nov. 8, 2008.
A fast, agile, and high-technology surface combatant, Independence will be a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles. To meet increased demand for mission-tailored forces packages, its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis. The LCS will be able to swap out mission packages pierside in a matter of days, adapting as the tactical situation demands. These ships will also feature advanced networking capability to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and joint units.
Independence is an innovative combatant designed to operate quickly in shallow water environments to counter challenging threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft. The LCS is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep.
Independence will be manned by one of two rotational crews, Blue and Gold, similar to the rotational crews assigned to Trident submarines. The crews will be augmented by one of three mission package crews during focused mission assignments. The prospective commanding officer of the Blue Crew is Cmdr. Curt Renshaw, who was born in Louisville, Ky., and raised in New Albany, Ind. The prospective commanding officer of the Gold Crew is Cmdr. Michael Riley, a native of Phoenix, Ariz. Independence will be homeported in San Diego as a part of the Pacific Fleet.
In September 2009, the Navy announced that in an effort to introduce more effective competition to control costs, it will down select between the two LCS designs in fiscal 2010. At down select, a single prime contractor and shipyard will be awarded a fixed price incentive contract for up to ten ships with two ships in fiscal 2010 and options through fiscal 2014. This decision was reached after careful review of the industry bids, consideration of total program costs, and ongoing discussions with the Congress.
Media may direct queries to Naval Surface Forces public affairs at 410-271-5227. More information on the LCS can be found at: http://peoships.crane.navy.mil/lcs/ .