10th Independence-variant littoral combat ship Cincinnati entering service

Littoral combat ship Cincinnati (LCS 20) during acceptance trials. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy is set to commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), in an October 5 ceremony in Gulfport, Mississippi.

In addition to being the tenth Independence-variant unit, Cincinnati is the fifth US Navy ship to honor Ohio’s third-largest city. The first was a stern-wheel casemate gunboat that served during the Civil War and was sunk by Confederate fire on two separate occasions. Raised both times and returned to service, she was decommissioned following the war.

The second Cincinnati was a cruiser commissioned in 1894. She served extensively in the Caribbean before, during, and after the Spanish-American War before being decommissioned in 1919.

The third ship to bear the name was a light cruiser commissioned in 1924 that served aroundthe world and earned a battle star for World War II service that included convoy escort and blockade duty. She was decommissioned in 1945 after the war ended. The fourth Cincinnati was a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine commissioned in 1978. The boat served for 17 years before being decommissioned in 1995.

Cincinnati is entering service after being delivered to the navy in June this year.

“USS Cincinnati and her crew will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V.Spencer. “She stands as proof of what teamwork — from civilian to contractor to military — can accomplish. This fast, agile platform will deliver her motto, ‘Strength in Unity’ worldwide thanks to their efforts.”

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

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