The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS-26), at 10:00 a.m. CDT, Saturday, May 22 in Mobile, Alabama.
Due to public health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning ceremony is private with a limited audience.
Mr. James «Hondo» Geurts, performing the duties of under secretary of the U.S. Navy, and Vice Admiral John Mustin, Chief of Naval Reserve, provided remarks. Mrs. Rebecca Byrne, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Community Foundation of South Alabama and wife of former U.S. Representative from Alabama Bradley Byrne, was the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony observed a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Byrne gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address.
Commander Christopher W. Wolff, a third-generation naval officer, is the ship’s commanding officer and leads a crew of 70 officers and enlisted Sailors.
«It has been an amazing experience to get to know our namesake city so well, while having the opportunity to live, work, and commission the ship right here in Mobile, where she was built», said Wolff. «We have definitely felt welcomed into the community, and have created a strong connection to the area that I am confident will last. Mobile bills itself as a city that is born to celebrate and the crew has really adopted that philosophy as we celebrate our shipmates every day».
The ship is 421 feet/128.3 m in length, has a beam of 103 feet/31.4 m, and a navigational draft of 14.8 feet/4.5 m. It is powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and four waterjets to speeds up to 40-plus knots/46-plus mph/74-plus km/h.
Built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, Mobile was christened December 7, 2019 and delivered to the U.S. Navy on December 9, 2020.
Mobile, the fifth ship to bear the name, 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. LCS are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.
USS Mobile (LCS-26) will homeport at Naval Base San Diego, California.
The Independence Variant of the LCS
|Construction||Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy|
|Length overall||421 feet/128.3 m|
|Beam overall||103 feet/31.4 m|
|Hull draft (maximum)||14.8 feet/4.5 m|
|PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES|
|Complement||Core Crew – 40|
|Mission crew – 36|
|Berthing||76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments|
|Maximum mission load||210 tonnes|
|Mission Bay Volume||118,403 feet3/11,000 m3|
|Mission packages||Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)|
|Surface Warfare (SUW)|
|Mine Warfare (MIW)|
|Main engines||2 × GE LM2500|
|2 × MTU 20V 8000|
|Waterjets||4 × Wartsila steerable|
|Bow thruster||Retractable azimuthing|
|Speed||40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h|
|Range||3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km|
|Operational limitation||Survival in Sea State 8|
|Deck area||>21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2|
|Launch and recovery||Twin boom extending crane|
|Internal elevator to hanger|
|Launch/Recover Watercraft||Sea State 4|
|FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER|
|Flight deck dimensions||2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)|
|Hanger||Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60|
|Launch/Recover Aircraft||Sea State 5|
|WEAPONS AND SENSORS|
|Standard||1 × 57-mm gun|
|4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns|
|1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher|
|3 × weapons modules|
|USS Independence (LCS-2)||01-19-2006||04-26-2008||01-16-2010||San Diego, California|
|USS Coronado (LCS-4)||12-17-2009||01-14-2012||04-05-2014||San Diego, California|
|USS Jackson (LCS-6)||08-01-2011||12-14-2013||12-05-2015||San Diego, California|
|USS Montgomery (LCS-8)||06-25-2013||08-06-2014||09-10-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10)||04-16-2014||02-25-2015||06-10-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Omaha (LCS-12)||02-18-2015||11-20-2015||02-03-2018||San Diego, California|
|USS Manchester (LCS-14)||06-29-2015||05-12-2016||05-26-2018||San Diego, California|
|USS Tulsa (LCS-16)||01-11-2016||03-16-2017||02-16-2019||San Diego, California|
|USS Charleston (LCS-18)||06-28-2016||09-14-2017||03-02-2019||San Diego, California|
|USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)||04-10-2017||05-22-2018||10-05-2019||San Diego, California|
|USS Kansas City (LCS-22)||11-15-2017||10-19-2018||06-20-2020||San Diego, California|
|USS Oakland (LCS-24)||07-20-2018||07-21-2019||04-17-2021||San Diego, California|
|USS Mobile (LCS-26)||12-14-2018||01-11-2020||05-22-2021||San Diego, California|
|USS Savannah (LCS-28)||09-20-2018||09-08-2020|
|USS Canberra (LCS-30)||03-10-2020||03-30-2021|
|USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)||10-27-2020|
|USS Augusta (LCS-34)|
|USS Kingsville (LCS-36)|
|USS Pierre (LCS-38)|