The U.S. Navy will commission its newest Independence variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), on Oct. 5, 2019 in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The commissioning ceremony signifies the acceptance for service and the entrance of a ship into the active fleet of the U. S. Navy. The vessel was delivered to the Navy on June 21.
Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is the ship’s sponsor. As the sponsor, Pritzker leads the time-honored Navy tradition of giving the order during the ceremony to “man our ship and bring her to life!” At that moment, the commissioning pennant is hoisted and Cincinnati becomes a proud ship of the fleet.
Cmdr. Kurt Braeckel, an Indianapolis native, is the commanding officer of the littoral combat ship. The vessel will be homeported in Naval Base San Diego upon her commissioning.
Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced LCS 20 would be named for Cincinnati at the Cincinnati Reds baseball game, July 19, 2015.
LCS 20 will be the fifth ship in naval history to be named Cincinnati. The first played an integral part in the Civil War; the second enforced neutrality laws during the Cuban Revolution and saw service during the Spanish-American War; the third acted as a patrol and flagship during World War II; and the fourth, a Los Angeles-class submarine, was commissioned in 1978 and served during the Cold War.
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions areas such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW).
The LCS class consists of two variants: the Freedom variant and the Independence variant.