The U.S. Navy’s newest Independence variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Charleston (LCS 18), will be commissioned at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Charleston, South Carolina’s Columbus Street Terminal.
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Charlotte Riley, wife of former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Riley will give the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
Cmdr. Christopher K. Brusca, a native of Los Angeles is the commanding officer of the ship and leads the core crew of 70 officers and enlisted personnel. The 3,200-ton Charleston was built by was built by General Dynamics/Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The ship is 421 feet in length, has a beam of 103 feet, and a navigational draft of 15 feet. The ship is powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and four waterjets to speeds up to 40-plus knots.
LCS 18 is the sixteenth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the ninth of the Independence variant. It will be the sixth ship named to honor the city and citizens of Charleston – South Carolina’s oldest and largest city.
The littoral combat ship is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft. They are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.
USS Charleston will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego.
Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet