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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 559-95
October 19, 1995

COASTAL MINE HUNTER SHIP CORMORANT (MHC 57)

TO BE CHRISTENED AT NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

The Coastal Mine Hunter, Cormorant (MHC 57), will be christened at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 21, 1995, at Avondale Shipyards, Avondale (Greater New Orleans), Louisiana. Cormorant will be christened by Suzanne Prueher, the ship's sponsor and wife of Admiral

Joseph W. Prueher, Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Mrs. Prueher will formally name the ship by breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow, in the age-old Navy tradition.

Admiral Prueher will be the principal speaker at the ceremony. Other distinguished guests to attend the ceremony include Mr. Charles L. Tompkins, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Personnel Programs); and Vice Admiral George R. Sterner, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command.

Coastal mine hunters are named after birds. Two previous ships have been named Cormorant. The first, a minesweeper (AM 40 and later ATO 133), served from 1919-1946, participated in the sweeping of the North Sea mine barrage and earned one battle star for its World War II service. The second, (AMS 122) also a minesweeper, served from 1953 to 1970.

Cormorant is the seventh of 12 Osprey class ships scheduled to be built. Ships of this class are the world's largest mine hunters to be constructed entirely of fiberglass and are capable of performing reconnaissance, classification, and neutralization of moored and bottom mines in coastal waters during worldwide Navy operations "Forward...From the Sea." The ship is armed with two .50 caliber machine guns, a high definition, variable depth sonar, and a remotely-operated robotic submarine used to neutralize mines.

Cormorant is 188 feet in length, has a beam of 36 feet, displaces approximately 895 metric tons (fully loaded) and will carry a crew of five officers and 46 Sailors. Lieutenant Commander Ronald W. Kennedy, USN, a native of Jersey City, New Jersey, will be the ship's commanding officer.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Mr. Ed Winter, Avondale Industries, Shipyards Division, New Orleans, Louisiana, at (504) 436-5253.