USS Milwaukee Joins the Fleet
Production is ramping up in the world of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program with 12 currently under construction. Saturday, USS Milwaukee joined the fleet as the U.S. Navy’s newest commissioned warship. In commemoration, here are seven things you might not know about the ship.
- On Sept. 13, 2011, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus officially announced Milwaukee was chosen for the name of a future LCS. “In naming this proud ship USS Milwaukee, it is my intent to honor you, the hard working people of Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin, to honor your state, and to honor all you do to keep America strong,” he said.
- Milwaukee is America’s fifth LCS and the third Freedom–class LCS. She was built at the Lockheed Martin shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin just three hours north of her namesake city.
- Milwaukee is one of only a handful a naval ships to ever be commissioned in her namesake city, which is also in the state where she was built. Her ceremony was held in Milwaukee’s Veterans Park on Lake Michigan, where despite it being 20 degrees, snowy and windy, more than 4,000 people attended the ceremony.
- Milwaukee is the fifth ship of the name in U.S. naval history and Milwaukee city Mayor Tom Barrett said at her commissioning, “This ship, which will be a tough ship, a gritty ship, a ship that fights back, and a ship that loves our nation is baring the right name at the right time.”
- The ship’s sponsor Sylvia Panetta, wife of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, called for Sailors to, “Man our ship and bring her to life,” before crewmembers boarded the ship and watchstanders took their positions.
- A core crew of 40 Sailors will man the ship, though she’ll carry more when the full mission crew is on board.
- Now that she’s commissioned and an active part of the Navy’s fleet of ships, she will sail to her new homeport, San Diego.
While we’re happy to help welcome USS Milwaukee to the fleet, her title of newest ship in the Navy won’t last long. In just a few weeks, the future USS Jackson (LCS 6) will be commissioned into service in a Dec. 5 ceremony in Gulfport, Miss.
MILWAUKEE — Nov. 21, 2015 — ADM Michelle Howard speaks during the commissioning of USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) November 21, 2015 in Milwaukee. USS Milwaukee, the third Freedom class littoral combat ship, is designed to operate in shallow and coastal waters throughout the world. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lange)
MILWAUKEE — Nov. 21, 2015 — Sailors from the USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) stand in formation during the commissioning of the ship on November 21, in Milwaukee. USS Milwaukee, the third Freedom class littoral combat ship, is designed to operate in shallow and coastal waters throughout the world. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lange)