The US Navy’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship has arrived at her future homeport of Naval Base San Diego ahead of her commissioning ceremony next year.
Tulsa (LCS 16) arrived in San Diego on November 21, after completing the ship’s maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
Prior to arriving at its new homeport of San Diego, Tulsa made several port calls and completed a transit through the Panama Canal.
“Every day at sea, sailing across the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Pacific, we trained together as a team, conducting a myriad of drills while getting to know our ship even better,” said Cmdr. Drew Borovies, Tulsa’s commanding officer. “I am so proud of the professionalism and experience displayed by the Tulsa crew as we safely navigated from Mobile to San Diego. We feel truly lucky to be entrusted with one of the Navy’s newest warships.”
Tulsa is scheduled to officially join the fleet February 16, 2019 during a commissioning ceremony in San Francisco. The Navy accepted delivery of Tulsa during a ceremony in Mobile, Alabama, April 30. Delivery marks the official transfer of Tulsa from the shipbuilder, an Austal USA-led team, to the navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning.
“The MCM mission is vital to ensuring continued access and maneuverability in the littoral battlespace,” said Capt. Matthew McGonigle, commander, COMLCSRON ONE. “Tulsa is our second LCS slated for the newly forming MCM division. We are excited to welcome her and her crew home to San Diego, and just in time to spend Thanksgiving with their families and friends too.”
Tulsa crewmember Mineman Seaman Calvin Reed said he was excited to be home. This is his first ship, and he said he appreciated the camaraderie, experiences and challenges he faced during his first sailround.
“As a part of this crew, especially weapons department, [this underway] really helped me understand what the Navy is about,” said Reed. “Also, I can’t wait to commission Tulsa. I’m looking forward to the ceremony.”