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Senate Wants a ‘USS Ted Stevens’

Ted Stevens official US Senate photo from 2005.

Ted Stevens official US Senate photo from 2005.

The U.S. Senate has included a provision in the latest appropriations bill to name a warship after Ted Stevens, the former head of the Senate Appropriations Committee who died in a plane crash in 2010, reported in the Roll Call Heard on the Hill blog.

“Expresses the sense of the Senate that the next available Navy capital warship be named the USS Ted Stevens to recognize the public service achievements, military service sacrifice, and undaunted heroism and courage of the long-serving U.S. Senator for Alaska,” read the bill.

Stevens was a World War II veteran and long time Republican senator from Alaska.
He lost his seat in 2008 and was convicted on corruption charges.

It is unclear if the Navy will honor the request from Congress.

“Names for Navy ships traditionally have been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President and in accordance with rules prescribed by Congress,” read an October report from the Congressional Research Service on ship naming conventions.

Under current Navy guidelines only three classes of ships are named for individuals, according to the CRS report:

-Aircraft carriers are named for former U.S. presidents and include two members of Congress.
-Destroyers are named for deceased Navy and Marine Corps members and Secretaries of the Navy
-Lewis and Clark cargo ships were named after pioneers, trailblazers and explorers.

There are exceptions. The Seawolf-class submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) is named after the former president and the yet-to-be-built fifth Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-10) will be named for former Congress member Gabrielle Giffords.

This will not be the first time the Senate has attempted to name a ship for Stevens. Similar language was included in a 2012 appropriations bill from the Senate.