THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
To Launch Future USS Beloit At Marinette Marine On May 7
Issue Date: May 5, 2022
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 the United States Navy and the team that built her will launch the Navy's newest ship, LCS 29 - the future USS Beloit - into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette.
Numerous dignitaries will be on hand, and just before the launch ship sponsor Major General Marcia M. Anderson (Ret.) will christen her by breaking the traditional bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
Admission to the christening and launch ceremony is restricted and requires advance registration and security clearance. In good weather, the launch is generally visible to the public from the Hwy. 41 Bridge over the Menominee River between Wisconsin and Michigan.
Two boat launches on the Menominee River- Boom Landing in Marinette and the River Park (Mystery Ship) ramp in Menominee - will be closed from midnight on Friday, May 6 until approximately noon on Saturday, May 7 for safety and security purposes for the launching.
Other boat launches on the river will be unaffected; but all boats, including kayaks and canoes, will be barred from the marine safety zone established by the U.S. Coast Guard from approximately 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 7. This area is from approximately Nestegg Marine downriver to the east end of KK Integrated Logistics' dock wall.
Boaters in the area are urged to use caution and pay attention to directions from law enforcement and Coast Guard personnel.
Construction of the future USS Beloit began on July 22, 2020 at the shipyard in Marinette. The future USS Beloit is a Freedom class ship, 387 feet long, with a beam length of 57.4 feet, and will be able to travel at a speed of 40 knots.
LCS 29, the future USS Beloit, is the 15th Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship and the 29th in the LCS class, 387 feet long, with a beam length of 57.4 feet. She will be able to travel at a speed of 40 knots.
According to a Lockheed-Martin spokesman, the LCS enable the U.S. Navy to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters. "A fast, maneuverable surface combatant, the LCS provides war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility for focused missions, including mine-clearing and anti-surface warfare. The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. According to Lockheed Martin, she and other LCS being at the only naval shipyard in the Midwest supports 12,500 U.S. jobs, including 7,500 jobs in Wisconsin and Michigan.
LCS are designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy's fleet," said the Lockheed Martin spokesperson.
Officials from Beloit are expected to be among the dignitaries present for the launch of the ship named in honor of their city to recognize the contributions of Beloit-based defense contractor Fairbanks Morse Defense, which has built engines for U.S. naval vessels over 100 years.
In 2018, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer named retired U.S. Army Major General Marcia Anderson, a native of Beloit, to be the ship's sponsor. She was the first African-American woman to attain the rank of Major General in the United States Army Reserve. She will be among speakers at the christening/launch event, and was in Marinette for the keel-laying ceremonies in 2020.
Reports are that Beloit City Manager Lori S. Curtis Luther is expected to attend the christening, as are State Rep. Mark Spreitzer of Beloit, and several Fairbanks Morse Defense officials, including Marketing Manager Jill Ritter.
Following her launch and christening, the future USS Beloit will go through testing and ship builder's sea trials to verify construction completion, after which she will be delivered to the Navy, according to the Lockheed Martin news release.