The U.S. Navy has taken delivery of its ninth Littoral Combat Ship, named after former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords.
The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) was handed over to the Navy on Friday during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. It is the ninth littoral combat ship to be delivered to the Navy overall and the fifth Independence variant delivered by Austal since 2009.
“We are pleased to receive the future USS Gabrielle Giffords into the LCS class,” said Capt. Harrison, commander, LCS Squadron (COMLCSRON) 1. “Gabrielle Giffords will join her sister littoral combat ships in their homeport of San Diego in 2017, commencing testing and training for deployed operations upon arrival.”
The selection of Gabrielle Giffords for the ship’s namesake honors the former U.S. Representative from Tucson, Arizona who is known for supporting and advocating for the military and veterans, gun control, renewable energy and border security. She is a survivor of an assassination attempt in 2011 which left her with a brain injury after she was shot during a shooting rampage that left six people dead and more than a dozen injured. Giffords was on stage as Dr. Jill Biden christened the ship in June 2015.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords is notable because it’s the 16th U.S. naval ship to be named for a woman and only the 13th since 1850 to be named for a living person. Following commissioning the vessel will be homeported in San Diego, California.
The Independence variant of the LCS class, noted for its trimaran hull and large large deck, is designed and built by two by Austal USA at their shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. The vessel is the fifth ship under an 11-ship contract worth approximately $4 billion.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords will be homeported in San Diego along with USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6) and USS Montgomery (LCS 8).
In 2016 Austal USA has delivered four vessels to the U.S. Navy, including two Littoral Combat Ships and two Expeditionary Fast Transport ships.