The USS Omaha, the Navy’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, will be commissioned Saturday afternoon at the Broadway pier in San Diego.
The USS Omaha, the 11th littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the sixth of the Independence-variant design, will be commissioned into the fleet Saturday at 3 pm EST. The Navy will stream the commissioning online at the Navy Live blog.
Former Navy SEAL officer and Medal of Honor recipient Bob Kerrey, who also served in the U.S. Senate and as governor of Nebraska, will be the keynote speaker for the event.
Warren Buffett’s daughter, Susie Buffett, who is an Omaha philanthropist and chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will serve as the ship’s sponsor.
The LCS series of ships is designed to operate close to shore for patrol, interdiction, mine-countermeasures, undersea warfare operations and other missions. The modular design of the ships allows it to be outfitted based on mission requirements.
“Omaha and her sister ships represent an investment in our nation, the result of the partnership between the Department of the Navy and our shipbuilding industry,” Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a press release. “American craftsmen in Mississippi, Alabama, around the country have made USS Omaha possible.”
“The LCS fills a unique mission for the United States Navy and as these remarkable ships continue to be produced out of our shipyards, they represent an increase in our readiness and lethality,” Spencer said.
The LCS-class consists of the Freedom-variant, made by Lockheed Martin, and the Independence-variant, made by Austal USA.
The Navy says contracts for 29 LCS ships have been awarded to date, with 11 already having been delivered to the Navy. Fifteen others are in various stages of construction, and three are in pre-production states.