USS Omaha entering service

The US Navy’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Omaha (LCS 12) will enter service in a commissioning ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Broadway pier in San Diego.

USS Omaha, designated LCS 12, is the 11th littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the sixth of the Independence-variant design. It is the fourth warship named for the Nebraska city. The first ship was a propeller-driven sloop-of-war. The second ship was a light cruiser and the third Omaha was an attack submarine.

Mrs. Susie Buffett, an Omaha philanthropist and daughter of Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a navy tradition, she will give the order to, “man our ship and bring her to life!”

“Omaha and her sister ships represent an investment in our nation, the result of the partnership between the Department of the Navy and our shipbuilding industry. American craftsmen in Mississippi, Alabama, around the country have made USS Omaha possible” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “The LCS fills a unique mission for the United States Navy and as these remarkable ships continue to be produced out of our shipyards, they represent an increase in our readiness and lethality.”

The LCS-class consists of the Freedom-variant and Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered ships, e.g. LCS 1). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered ships). Twenty-nine LCS ships have been awarded to date: 11 have been delivered to the Navy, 15 are in various stages of construction and three are in pre-production states.

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