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USS Charleston (LCS 18) Commissioning Ceremony

Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of the March 2 commissioning of the Navy’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Charleston (LCS 18).

Live video from Columbus Street Terminal in Charleston, South Carolina, is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. (EST).

“The future USS Charleston is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together. This ship will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge against renewed great power competition.”
– Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Charlotte Riley, wife of former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when she gives the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!

The future USS Charleston is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The ship will be homeported in San Diego, California.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, Marinette, Wis., (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #USSCharleston.

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