September 8, 2016 - The US Navy will commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, USS Montgomery (LCS 8), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, Sept. 10 in Mobile, Alabama.
Montgomery, designated LCS 8, honors the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and is the second U.S. ship in our nation’s history to be named in honor of the capital of Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama was named for Richard Montgomery, a major general in the Continental Army.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, Alabama's 1st Congressional District, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Mary Sessions, wife of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and a Montgomery native, is serving as the ship’s sponsor.
“The commissioning of USS Montgomery is not only a celebration of the partnership we share with the people of a great southern capital, but also of our nation's highly skilled shipbuilders who, in building ships like Montgomery—the U.S. Navy's eighth littoral combat ship—will help us continue to grow the fleet to more than 300 ships by the end of this decade,” said the Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy. “This great ship, and the sailors who serve aboard her, will represent the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and our nation around the world for years to come.”
While the second to be named for the Alabama capital, a total of four Navy ships have previously borne the name Montgomery. The first USS Montgomery was a sloop, or schooner, that was in service on Lake Champlain from 1813 to 1815. The second USS Montgomery was a wooden screw steamer in the Union Navy during the U.S. Civil War. USS Montgomery (C 9), the third of her name and the lead ship of her class, was an unprotected cruiser that served during the Spanish–American War and in World War I. USS Montgomery (DD 121) was a Wickes-class destroyer commissioned in 1918 and later converted to a minelayer that saw service during World War II, where she earned four battle stars for meritorious participation in battle.
Montgomery is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions in areas such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.
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, e.g. LCS 1) while the Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
The LCS seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission modules (made up of mission systems and support equipment), which can be changed quickly. These modules combine with crew detachments and aviation assets to become complete mission packages, which will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, or surface warfare missions.