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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Marinette Marine Launches LCS-21, Future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul

Issue Date: June 20, 2019

"May God bless this ship, and all who sail in her," said Ship Sponsor Jodi J. Greene, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy for Policy, as she shattered a bottle of champagne over the bow of LCS 21 during christening ceremonies just prior to launch into the Menominee River at the Marinette Marine shipyard on Saturday, June 15.

LCS 21, the future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, is scheduled for delivery to the United States Navy in 2020. She is one of eight ships in various stages of construction and testing at the Fincantieri-Marinette Marine facility in Marinette.

"Littoral combat ships are designed to operate in more areas than a typical Navy ship, including shallow water near the coastline," said Greene. "Consequently, LCS 21 is going to bring the name "Minneapolis-Saint Paul' all around the globe."

Greene, a native of Northfield, Minn., said being selected to sponsor the ship was for her the honor of a lifetime, and has given her an opportunity to reconnect with her Minnesota roots over the last few years.

Principal speaker for the launch was Rep. Betty McCollum, who represents Minnesota's 4th Congressional District. She praised the shipyard's workers as the backbone of America's industrial base, and declared, "You make our economy strong, and that's very important for making sure that we have a nation that's secure for future generations."

Vice Admiral G. Dan Peters of the United States Navy was another honored guest and speaker at the event.

"LCS is the second largest ship class in the U.S. Navy, and Lockheed Martin is proud to deliver capability and added force projection with each additional hull," said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "LCS is ready to serve a variety of missions, and our team is working with the Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to meet the missions sailors will face in the future."

"We take great pride in building the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul and all of the freedom variant ships," said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. "LCS 21 and her sister ships will soon represent the interests of the United States where and when needed."

Unique among combat ships, LCS are designed to complete close-to-shore missions and are a growing and relevant part of the Navy's fleet. They are promoted as being flexible, fast, automated and lethal.

The hull is easily reconfigurable, to serve various missions. It is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots, and is automated, with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship. It operates with a crew of 54.

Standard equipment includes Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.

Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered eight LCS to the U.S. Navy, with eight more in various stages of production and test. This year, Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine will begin construction on two more ships, deliver two ships, complete sea trials for two ships and see three ships commissioned (LCS 13, 15 and 17). Among ships with construction underway is LCS 25, the future USS Marinette.

Hundreds of shipyard employees and their families, along with other spectators gathered at the shipyard and at the Mystery Ship Marina across the Menominee River in Menominee, Mich. to view the impressive sideways launch. Portions of the Menominee River were closed to boaters in advance of the event.


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