The Navy's newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), departed from Mobile, Alabama, May 8, beginning her journey to her commissioning site in Galveston, Texas.
The ship's commissioning is scheduled for June 10, after which she will begin her transit to her eventual homeport of San Diego. As part of her sail around, Gabrielle Giffords will conduct regularly scheduled equipment and systems checks, training, visit several ports and transit through the Panama Canal.
"We are making the most of our sail around," said Cmdr. Keith Woodley, commanding officer and a native of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. "During the transit to San Diego we will be conducting routine maintenance checks and training. We will also begin our Combat Ship Systems Qualification Trials events which are designed to test the ship's ability to track and disable high-speed maneuvering surface targets and defeat long range anti-shipping air threats."
Gabrielle Giffords is the ninth littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy and the fifth LCS of the Independence variant. The Independence variant is noted for its unique hull, ability to operate at high speeds, and large flight deck size.
"We are pleased to receive the future USS Gabrielle Giffords into the LCS class," said Capt. Matthew J. Harrison, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 and a native of Columbia, Maryland. "Gabrielle Giffords will join her sister littoral combat ships in their homeport of San Diego in July and continue testing and training for future deployed operations."
LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. LCS is complementary to the surface fleet, with the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.
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