U.S. Navy Secretary In Town To Celebrate Naming Of USS Tulsa
TULSA, Oklahoma - A U.S. Navy ship that's under construction will take the name Tulsa all over the world. The secretary of the Navy said the USS Tulsa is a combat ship that's still under construction.
Tuesday at the VFW post, the Navy formally announced the name assigned now to a specific ship coming into the fleet in 2018.
And as that ship goes out, it's going to have more than just the name onboard.
Five Tulsa mayors, one current and four former, were on stage with the secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, for the announcement.
"But I am very happy to announce that the name of our newest littoral combat ship, LCS -16, will be USS Tulsa," Mabus said.
The new ship is only the 16th model like it.
It's called littoral combat ship - meaning it's built to operate close to shore.
The Navy secretary said the USS Tulsa will operate all over the globe, probably for 30 or 40 years.
He said, “It's already being built. It will be christened about this time next year, and join the fleet in early 2018.”
When the Tulsa is finished, Tulsa's former Mayor, Kathy Taylor, will send it to sea. She's the sponsor of the ship and said she accepted the honor as a tribute to her late father, a Navy veteran.
"For someone who hasn't had her father in their life for 42 years, this is a chance to pay tribute to his service and to be reconnected," Taylor said.
The role of sponsor carries a responsibility with it for the life of the ship.
Taylor said, “I plan to maintain as close contact with the captain and crew as I can once it's launched, and let them know the City of Tulsa supports them; and I want to have a very close connection with the ship.”
The Navy secretary said the Tulsa doesn't have a home port yet, or assignment, but wherever it goes, he hopes a piece of Tulsa will go with it.
"They'll be historical stuff from Tulsa on that ship and it's mainly up to the sponsor, what she gives to the ship, but they're always pretty thorough on doing it," said Mabus.
The ships are big, at 419 feet long, and each one costs about $350 million.
It's being built in Mobile, Alabama.