Future USS Charleston (LCS 18) entering service in South Carolina ceremony

US Navy photo of future USS Charleston (LCS 18) underway for acceptance trials

US Navy’s Independence variant littoral combat ship Charleston (LCS 18) is set to enter service in a ceremony at Charleston, South Carolina’s Columbus Street Terminal, on March 2.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Charlotte Riley, wife of former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, will serve as the ship’s sponsor.

Cmdr. Christopher K. Brusca is the commanding officer of the ship and leads the core crew of 70 officers and enlisted personnel.

The 3,200-ton Charleston was built by General Dynamics/Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The ship is 421 feet in length, has a beam of 103 feet, and a navigational draft of 15 feet. The ship is powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and four waterjets to speeds up to 40-plus knots.

LCS 18 is the sixteenth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the ninth of the Independence variant. It will be the sixth ship named to honor the city and citizens of Charleston – South Carolina’s oldest and largest city.

USS Charleston will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego.

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