The Navy will commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), at 10:00 a.m. CDT, Saturday, May 22 in Mobile, Ala.
Washington, May 22, 2021.- Due to public health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning ceremony is private with a limited audience.
Mr. James “Hondo” Geurts, performing the duties of under secretary of the Navy, and Vice Adm. John Mustin, Chief of Naval Reserve, will provide remarks. Mrs. Rebecca Byrne, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Community Foundation of South Alabama and wife of former U.S. Representative from Alabama Bradley Byrne, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will observe a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Byrne gives the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address.
Cmdr. Christopher W. Wolff, a third-generation naval officer, is the ship’s commanding officer and leads a crew of 70 officers and enlisted Sailors.
“It has been an amazing experience to get to know our namesake city so well, while having the opportunity to live, work, and commission the ship right here in Mobile, where she was built,” said Wolff. “We have definitely felt welcomed into the community, and have created a strong connection to the area that I am confident will last. Mobile bills itself as a city that is born to celebrate and the crew has really adopted that philosophy as we celebrate our shipmates every day.”
The ship is 421 feet in length, has a beam of 103 feet, and a navigational draft of 15 feet. It is powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and four waterjets to speeds up to 40-plus knots.
Built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., Mobile was christened Dec. 7, 2019 and delivered to the Navy on Dec. 9, 2020.
Mobile, the fifth ship to bear the name, is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft. LCS are are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.
USS Mobile will homeport at Naval Base San Diego, California.