Home » Budget Industry » Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship for Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday


Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship for Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband Mark Kelly attend a ceremony at the Pentagon in 2012. US Navy Photo

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband Mark Kelly attend a ceremony at the Pentagon in 2012. US Navy Photo

The tenth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is slated to be christened for former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a Saturday ceremony in Mobile, Ala, the Pentagon announced this week.

Tomorrow, Jill Biden — the wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden — will break a bottle of sparkling wine in a ceremony to officially name the fifth Austal USA-built Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship after former democratic representative Gabrielle Giffords.

“The christening of the future USS Gabrielle Giffords marks the beginning of what is certain to be a long life for this great ship,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in a Thursday statement.

Giffords, a former member of the House Armed Services Committee from Arizona, was shot in a 2011 mass shooting that killed six and injured 11. She resigned her office in 2012.

That same year, Mabus announced the tenth LCS would be named after Giffords in a move that stirred a minor outcry in some naval circles.

Ship naming controversies have been a staple of the U.S. Navy since the start of the service.

Aerial view of the future littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) during its launch sequence at the Austal USA shipyard on Feb. 24, 2015. US Navy Photo

Aerial view of the future littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) during its launch sequence at the Austal USA shipyard on Feb. 24, 2015. US Navy Photo

“The Navy motto is Semper Fortis, Always Courageous,” said Mabus during a ceremony held in the Pentagon Courtyard in 2012. “Unwavering courage has defined the Navy for 236 years and it is what we expect, what we demand of our Sailors every single day. So it’s very appropriate that LCS 10 be named for someone who has become synonymous with courage, who has inspired the nation with remarkable resiliency and showed the possibilities of the human spirit.”

The ship Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is a 3,000-ton aluminum trimaran designed to accept different modular mission packages for surface and anti-submarine warfare (SuW, ASW) and mine countermeasure (MCM) missions.

The ships are being built alongside the aluminum Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MCS) at Austal’s yard in Mobile.

  • Eric Arllen

    Hmmmmm.

    Entirely consistent with what I have come to expect from this administration. They do not disappoint. Unfortunately.

  • John Lyman

    Political pandering of the First Order – it was wrong when the decision was first announced, it is wrong today, and it will still be wrong when the ship has been in service twenty years. Yes, SECNAV has the right to name ships, but he has the responsibility to follow the naming customs and traditions of the Service, and this Secretary has not done that.

    • OLDNAVYVET

      It appears that there are none. Like Cesar Chavez who stated many times that the “2 worst years of his life was the time he was in the USN.”

  • Bill

    Wouldn’t one have expected her husband, Captain Kelly, to explain to her why this honor should have been graciously declined? And what’s up with the little note about ship naming controversies being with us always? Not like this SecNav.

  • Bob Scratchit

    The anti-gun Giffords must be really proud that a killing machine loaded with weapons is named after her…

    • James B.

      They split the difference, and gave her a virtually unarmed ship.

  • Robbins Mitchell

    Sounds like it’s more clitoral than littoral

    • old guy

      Oh you sexist devil. Ha, Ha, Ha.

  • Doug Eurom

    Naval ship names should not be political gifts or pander to social agendas. Men go to war in these ships.
    Congress needs to step in and stop this crap. Go back to States, Cities, Battles, Naval Heroes, fish (for submarines) and historical names (Enterprise, Hornet, Eagle).
    I don’t even think that President’s should have ships named after them, unless they’ve been dead for at least 100 years or have other criteria, such as Dwight David Eisenhower.

    • James B.

      I think Presidents who are both deceased and veterans of the military should be fair game for naming, but they should also be limited to aircraft carriers, and only half of carrier names should be presidential, the others historical. I would allow two exceptions to the above presidential criteria, for Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, who each spent a full term fighting a serious war.

      The current silliness of presidential naming–Gerald Ford got a carrier, but Jimmy Carter only got a submarine–has a painful amount to do with politics, although both those men were at least proud Navy veterans.

  • old guy

    I have great respect for her, so I feel that this is no complement to name this turkey after her. However, I hope she likes it.

  • Politics…sorry he got shot but so what. Could have named the LCS?FF???? after any service member who has been shot anyone of them. OLDNAVYVET mentioned Chavez how about the Murther, a crook that should have been jailed. Won’t even go into Carter. MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

  • Rick Slater

    I agree – total political pandering. It is bad enough to aircraft carriers not get routinely named after politicians of BOTH parties, including those who are still alive. Now, to name a ship after a politician still living who has utterly no connection to the Navy, is outrageous! The Navy should be ashamed! How about taking it to the next step and open up the naming of ships to the highest bidder (maybe on eBay?) like NFL stadiums? It wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

  • taras.ukrainian.88

    what a disgrace. the Stupidity of American liberals. that is one ship i would enjoy watching getting sunk.