- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Navy officials are preparing to christen the newest littoral combat ship (LCS) into the fleet this week, designed to bolster U.S. capabilities in carrying out near-shore operations.

The new ship will be named the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, Navy officials said Wednesday. It will be the 11th Freedom-class to enter into the Navy fleet since the LCS program’s inception in 2002.

The christening ceremony will take place at the Marinette shipyard in Wisconsin, service leaders said in a statement. Wisconsin Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum and Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Jodi Greene will attend the ceremony on June 15.

Two Independence-class versions of the LCS and a single Freedom-class LCS will deploy to the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year, marking the first new deployments of the next-generation warship since 2016.

In 2016, Navy leaders ordered a “engineering stand down” of the entire LCS fleet in the wake of several high-profile failures at sea. Four American sailors were killed that year, the result of engineering failure aboard both versions of the warship. 



Navy officials on Thursday said the services’ fatalities during the 2016 incident were not “engineering-related deaths” aboard the LCS, Navy Spokesman Lt. Lauren Chatmas said.  

Four American sailors were killed that year, the result of engineering failure aboard both versions of the warship.

Navy officials on Thursday said the services’ fatalities during the 2016 incident were not “engineering-related deaths” aboard the LCS,

“In 2016, the Navy had an LCS engineering stand-down,” she said, noting the stand down only applied to engineering departments aboard the ships.   

“After a series of unrelated maintenance issues, the Navy did a months-long review. The [LCS] program has been executing the recommendations from that ever since,” Lt. Chatmas added. 

 

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