Former Mayor Visits U.S.S. Tulsa For Keel Laying Ceremony

Monday, January 11th 2016, 7:58 pm

There's an update on the progress of the future U.S.S. Tulsa - the Navy combat ship being built in Alabama.

Monday, the keel was laid, ceremoniously, by a group of Tulsans supporting the ship.

The ship's sponsor, former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor, used a welder to mark her initials on the ship. It's a symbolic step in construction for a ship that's actually almost halfway done.

Taylor went with a group of Tulsans from the sponsor's committee for the keel laying ceremony for the future U.S.S. Tulsa.

"It was an exciting honor for Tulsa and the delegation who came with us - all of them have a connection to the Navy," she said.

Read Her Full Speech Here

Current Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett was among those attending the ceremony, and the Tulsa group was able to see the construction in progress.

9/23/2015 Related Story: USS Tulsa Represents City Inside And Out

The Tulsa, officially still LCS 16, is being built alongside six other ships in Mobile. The Tulsa will look just like LCS 10.

It was christened last month and named to honor Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The Navy Secretary designated Tulsa as the ship’s namesake last September.

Taylor, as the ship's sponsor, is in charge of raising money for the commissioning ceremony and maintaining ties between the crew and the city.

Taylor said, "It will be a long-term relationship for as long as that ship is in the water, which will be for decades to come."

The Navy expects the ships to have 40 years of duty; and for the Tulsa, that job will start in 2018 after a commissioning and assignment to a base that's likely to be in San Diego.

The Tulsa is 418 feet long and will cost $350 million.

You can learn more about the U.S.S. Tulsa here.