The Navy will christen and launch the newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Kingsville (LCS 36), during a 10:00 a.m. CST ceremony on Saturday, April 22, in Mobile, Alabama.
The principal speaker, the Honorable Franklin Parker, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs,will deliver the ceremonial principal address. Remarks will also be provided by the Honorable Sam Fugate, mayor of Kingsville; Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Surface Warfare Division, office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Mr. Rusty Murdaugh, president, Austal USA; and Mr. Stan Kordana, vice president of Surface Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems. Ms. Katherine Kline will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to symbolically christen the ship. Ms. Kline is a member of the sixth generation of the King Ranch family, descendants of steamboat Capt. Richard King who founded the King Ranch located in Kingsville, Texas, in 1853. Naval Air Station Kingsville, located three miles from Kingsville, was founded in 1942 and continues a special relationship with the King Ranch.
"USS Kingsville highlights not only the city of Kingsville and Naval Air Station Kingsville, but also shows the efforts of two communities working together for the betterment of the nation," said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. "As we christen her today, I look forward to seeing the work that the officers and crew of USS Kingsville will do."
Kingsville is the 18th Independence-variant LCS and is the first ship named after Kingsville, Texas.
The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class are fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatants that operate in near-shore and open-ocean environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. LCSs integrate with joint, combined, manned, and unmanned teams to support forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.
The LCS class consists of two variants, Freedom and Independence, designed and built by two separate industry teams. The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for the even-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 2).
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. More information on the Littoral Combat Ship Program can be found at: https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Fact-Files/Display-FactFiles/Article/2171607/littoral-combat-ship-class-lcs/