The US Navy’s seventh Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Manchester (LCS 14), is entering service in a ceremony on Saturday, May 26, at the State Pier in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, senior United States Senator from New Hampshire, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to, “man our ship and bring her to life!”
“The future USS Manchester is a modern marvel and an example of the increased capability that comes from a true partnership with the American industry,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “The ship honors the city of Manchester and the patriotic citizens of New Hampshire for their support to our military, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things the crew will accomplish.”
The future USS Manchester, designated LCS 14, is the twelfth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the seventh of the Independence-variant design. The ship is the second naval vessel to honor New Hampshire’s largest city. The first, a light cruiser, was commissioned Oct. 29, 1946. During nearly ten years of commissioned service, the ship completed numerous deployments, including three combat deployments in support of operations in the Korean conflict during which she earned nine battle stars. The ship was decommissioned June 27, 1956 and stricken from the Navy list April 1, 1960.
“Manchester will be the ninth LCS homeported in San Diego, continuing to advance our nation’s desire to grow our Fleet in capability and size to a 355-ship Navy,” said Capt. Matthew McGonigle, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE.
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). 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: 13 have been delivered to the Navy, another 13 are in various stages of construction and testing, and three are in pre-production states.