The US Navy received its seventh Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Manchester (LCS 14), in a ceremony in Mobile, Alabama, on February 28.
Delivery marks the official transfer of LCS 14 from the shipbuilder, an Austal USA-led team, to the navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for May in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
“Delivery marks a major milestone in the life of the future USS Manchester, as she is transferred to the Navy and her in-service counter begins,” said Capt. Mike Taylor, LCS program manager. “Manchester is an exceptional ship which will take her crew around the globe as they sail to protect our country. I look forward to celebrating her upcoming commissioning in Portsmouth.”
Manchester is the 12th littoral combat ship (LCS) to be delivered to the Navy and the seventh of the Independence variant to join the fleet.
“The future USS Manchester is joining the fleet at a thrilling time in LCS history; LCSs are operationally proven and continue to be in high demand by combatant commanders around the globe,” said Capt. Jordy Harrison, commander, LCS Squadron 1 (COMLCSRON-1).
COMLCSRON-1 supports the operational commanders with warships ready for tasking by manning, training, equipping and maintaining littoral combat ships on the west coast. Manchester will be homeported in San Diego with her fellow ships USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and USS Omaha (LCS 12).
“To see the crew come together with Austal, Supervisor of Shipbuilding and the Program Office to celebrate this milestone is an awesome reminder of the team effort that is shipbuilding and warfighting,” said Cmdr. Emily Bassett, Manchester’s commanding officer. “LABOR VINCIT! Work Conquers! That’s our ship’s motto. The delivery gives the work of the ship over to her Sailors, and we are ready to conquer.”
Six LCS remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard with assembly underway on Cincinnati (LCS 20) and Kansas City (LCS 22) and modules for Oakland (LCS 24) and Mobile (LCS 26) under construction. Construction on LCS 28, recently named Savannah and LCS 30, recently named Canberra is to begin later this year.