The U.S. Navy will commission its newest Independence-class littoral combat ship, the future USS Manchester (LCS-14), during a ceremony at 10 a.m on May 26, 2018 at the New Hampshire State Pier in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The date was formally announced by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the official sponsor of the future USS Manchester and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Commander Emily Bassett, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, USS Manchester Community Commissioning Committee Chair Porter Davis, and Millyard Museum Director John Clayton at the Millyard Museum in Manchester on March 29.
The last vessel commissioned in Portsmouth was a Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, USS New Hampshire (SSN-778), in 2008. Portsmouth is home to the oldest continuously-operating Navy shipyard in the country – the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS).
“It continues to be a great honor and privilege to serve as the official sponsor of the future USS Manchester and I’m excited to announce the commissioning date of May 26th in Portsmouth,” said Senator Shaheen. “This ceremony has been many years in the making and I’m thrilled that this historic event will take place in our state. The future USS Manchester pays great tribute to the Queen City’s storied history and New Hampshire’s long history of supporting our national defense.”
“The future USS Manchester is a modern marvel and an example of the increased capability that comes from a true partnership with the American industry,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “The ship honors the city of Manchester and the patriotic citizens of New Hampshire for their support to our military, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things the crew will accomplish.”
The commissioning ceremony marks the acceptance of a ship as a unit of the operating forces of the United States Navy. At the moment of breaking the commissioning pennant, the ship will “come to life” and the crew will ceremonially run aboard ship. At the moment when the commissioning pennant is broken at the masthead, a ship becomes a Navy command in her own right, and takes her place alongside the other active ships of the Fleet. Thereafter the ship is officially referred to as a United States Ship (USS).
Littoral Combat Ships are designed to face asymmetric threats in shallow areas off coastlines and primarily perform: surface warfare, antisubmarine warfare and mine countermeasures. The USS Manchester is part of the Independence class of Littoral Combat Ships.
The future USS Manchester (LCS-14) is the US Navy’s newest ship of this type. The traditional keel-laying ceremony for the ship took place at Austal shipyard in Mobile AL on June 29, 2015, when the initials of Senator Jeanne Shaheen were welded into the hull of Manchester. Manchester was christened on May 7, 2016 and launched on May 12, 2016. She will be commissioned into active duty in the fleet at the Port of New Hampshire in Portsmouth.
This is the second ship in the US Navy to be named after Manchester, New Hampshire. The first USS Manchester, a light cruiser that saw action during the Korean War, was commissioned in 1946 and primarily operated in the Pacific. It served three combat tours and earned nine battle stars before it was decommissioned in 1956.