USA: Newport News Shipbuilding Christens Tugboat


Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc., today christened Capt. Ambrose, a tugboat named in honor of Capt. Marvin L. Ambrose, a former tugboat master and docking pilot who retired from the shipyard in 1973 after 44 years of service. The ceremonial christening was held behind the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center in Newport News.

“Though we’re no longer building tugboats here along the banks of the James River, we still feel that same sense of pride and ownership for our modern-day tugs as if we had built them ourselves, and it’s why we name them for shipbuilding legends,” said Matt Mulherin, HII corporate vice president and president of Newport News Shipbuilding.“Our tugboats, their captains and crews, and the work they perform are vitally important to the work we do for the U.S. Navy. They push, pull, navigate and turn the largest and most complex nuclear-powered ships in the world, and they make it look effortless, even though we all know it requires skill, experience and hard work.”

Capt. Ambrose was hired by the shipyard in March 1929 as a deck hand. The Mathews County native was a member of the original crew on Huntington, a tugboat that was placed in service on Nov. 18, 1933. Capt. Ambrose eventually became tugboat master on Huntington, a position he held along with his responsibilities as docking pilot until his retirement. It is estimated that Huntington, under Capt. Ambrose’s leadership, assisted 30,000 vessels during her service.

Shirley Langston, the shipyard’s longest-serving female master shipbuilder, served as the ship’s sponsor and performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the tugboat’s hull. Langston was joined by Mulherin; Danny Hunley, Newport News Shipbuilding vice president of operations; and members of Capt. Ambrose’s family, including Bobby Hudgins, Capt. Ambrose’s nephew and retired Newport News Shipbuilding employee.

“I am really honored to have been chosen for this great opportunity to christen this beautiful tug,” Langston said.

About Hungtington Ingalls Industries

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing nearly 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding.
Source: HII, April 28, 2011;