US Navy Christens Littoral Combat Ship Coronado

The Navy will chris­ten the Lit­toral Com­bat Ship (LCS) Coro­n­a­do, Sat­ur­day, Jan. 14, dur­ing a 10 a.m. CST cer­e­mo­ny in Mobile, Ala.

The Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of the Navy for Research, Devel­op­ment & Acqui­si­tion, Sean Stack­ley, will deliv­er the prin­ci­pal address at the cer­e­mo­ny. Susan Kei­th will serve as the ship’s spon­sor. Addi­tion­al­ly, Kei­th helped launch the Coro­n­a­do His­tor­i­cal Association’s “Home of a Naval Avi­a­tor” sign project and grew up with her father and step­fa­ther serv­ing in the Navy. Vice Adm. Stan­hope C. Ring, her father, was a pilot who com­mand­ed an air­craft car­ri­er air group dur­ing the Bat­tle of Mid­way dur­ing World War II. Her step­fa­ther, Rear Adm. Aaron Put­nam “Put” Storrs III, belonged to the Navy’s first aer­i­al acro­bat­ic team, which was the fore­run­ner of the Blue Angels. The cer­e­mo­ny will be high­light­ed by Kei­th break­ing a bot­tle of cham­pagne across the bow to for­mal­ly chris­ten the ship, which is a time-hon­ored mar­itime tra­di­tion.

The ship’s name rec­og­nizes the city of Coro­n­a­do, Calif., and hon­ors the city’s deep ties to the U.S. Navy. Coro­n­a­do has been home to Naval Air Sta­tion North Island and Naval Amphibi­ous Base, since 1917. Two pre­vi­ous ships have been named after this city: USS Coro­n­a­do, a Taco­ma-class patrol frigate, earned four bat­tle stars for sup­port­ing land­ings in New Guinea and Leyte dur­ing World War II and the USS Coro­n­a­do, an Austin-class amphibi­ous trans­port dock lat­er re-des­ig­nat­ed as an aux­il­iary com­mand ship, served as flag­ship for the Third Fleet and was decom­mis­sioned in 2006.

Des­ig­nat­ed LCS 4, Coro­n­a­do is an inno­v­a­tive sur­face com­bat­ant designed to oper­ate in lit­toral seas and shal­low water to counter mines, sub­marines and fast sur­face craft threats in coastal regions. The ship is capa­ble of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can oper­ate in water less than 20 feet deep. Coro­n­a­do will address a crit­i­cal capa­bil­i­ties gap in the lit­torals and con­duct the Navy’s mis­sion to enhance mar­itime secu­ri­ty by deter­ring hos­til­i­ty, main­tain­ing a for­ward pres­ence, pro­ject­ing pow­er and main­tain­ing sea con­trol.

A fast, agile, and high-tech­nol­o­gy sur­face com­bat­ant, Coro­n­a­do will be a plat­form for the launch and recov­ery of manned and unmanned vehi­cles. To meet increased demand for mis­sion-tai­lored pack­ages, its mod­u­lar design will allow the ship to be recon­fig­ured for anti­sub­ma­rine war­fare, mine coun­ter­mea­sures, or sur­face war­fare mis­sions on an as-need­ed basis. The LCS class ships have the abil­i­ty to swap out mis­sion pack­ages in a mat­ter of days — adapt­ing as the tac­ti­cal sit­u­a­tion demands. The mod­u­lar approach allows the Navy to incor­po­rate new and improved sys­tems into the fleet as advanced tech­nolo­gies mature, pro­vid­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty and evolv­ing capa­bil­i­ty.

Coro­n­a­do will be manned by two rota­tion­al crews, Blue and Gold, sim­i­lar to the rota­tion­al crews assigned to large sub­marines. These core crews are aug­ment­ed by one of the three types of mis­sion pack­age crews and an avi­a­tion detach­ment. The com­mand­ing offi­cer of the Blue crew will be Cmdr. John Kochen­dor­fer, from Dana Point, Calif. The com­mand­ing offi­cer of the Gold crew will be Cmdr. Michael “Shawn” John­ston, from North Car­oli­na. After com­mis­sion­ing, the ship will be home­port­ed in San Diego, Calif.

Con­struct­ed by Gen­er­al Dynam­ics in the Austal USA ship­yard in Mobile, Ala., Coro­n­a­do is the sec­ond of the Inde­pen­dence-vari­ant in the LCS class.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter