Little Rock Gets Ready to Roll

Navy lays the keel of the next Littoral Combat Ship – the future USS Little Rock
 

LCS 9 Keel Laying During the keel-laying ceremony of the future USS Little Rock June 27 at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, ship sponsor Janee Bonner, the wife of U.S. Rep. Joe Bonner of Alabama, authenticated the keel by having her signature welded into it. See more photos

The nation’s ninth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) may be named Little Rock, but there was certainly nothing little about the recent celebrations that occurred in Marinette, Wis.

The U.S. Navy celebrated the keel laying of the future USS Little Rock June 27 at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, where LCS 9 is under construction.

During the traditional ceremony, ship sponsor Janee Bonner, the wife of U.S. Rep. Joe Bonner of Alabama, authenticated the keel by having her signature welded into it. She was assisted by Chuck Goddard, President & CEO of Marinette Marine Corporation.

“It’s a privilege to be named the ship sponsor of the future USS Little Rock,” said Mrs. Janee Bonner. “The keel laying marks the beginning of a lifelong commitment to the ship and to the crews, and I am proud and honored to support the brave crews that defend our country.”

The same day, just one mile from the Marinette Marine shipyard, Lockheed Martin held a ceremonial ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of a new leased facility in downtown Marinette. Lockheed Martin will occupy 16,000 square feet of the previously vacant space, which can house 46 employees who support testing for the LCS program. With $500,000 spent in renovations, Lockheed Martin contracted local Marinette companies to upgrade the site.

The Little Rock is the fourth LCS being built at the Marinette Marine shipyard. The Lockheed Martin-led team built the Navy’s first LCS, the USS Freedom, which is currently in Singapore as part of its 10-month deployment to Southeast Asia.

USS Fort Worth – commissioned in September – is conducting post-shakedown availability following successful Final Contractor’s Trials in April. Construction of Milwaukee (LCS 5) and Detroit (LCS 7) is underway, and long-lead construction material is being procured for Sioux City (LCS 11).

The Navy awarded contracts to the team for the Wichita (LCS 13) and the Billings (LCS 15) in March.

Posted on June 27, 2013