US Navy commissions fifth ship in 50 days

The US Navy’s 15th littoral combat ship – USS Tulsa (LCS 16) – was commissioned as the Navy’s newest surface combatant in a ceremony in San Francisco on February 16.

The Independence-variant LCS is the Navy’s second ship to be named for the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The ship has progressed from its keel laying in Mobile, Alabama, to its commissioning in just over three years. Kathy Taylor, ship’s sponsor and former Tulsa mayor, was present for both events.

“I have gotten to know the crew of this exceptional USS Tulsa, and I know they will fight when they must,” said Taylor. “I know they will protect this country at all costs, because they know everything they fight for and they protect keeps the promises made to all Americans.”

Tulsa will join the fleet at a time of expansion of capability as well as increased demand on the Navy forces.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Guertz noted Tulsa is the fifth ship the Navy has commissioned in the past 50 days and one of 13 ships slated to be commissioned this year – up from eight a year ago.

“Having the right mix of ships with the right number of ships, to include Tulsa, makes us ready to execute prompt and sustained combat operations at sea to fight and win against any adversary,” said Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of US Pacific Fleet. “Let there be no doubt, that is what Tulsa is ready to do.”

After the ceremony, the ship will transit to San Diego to join Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 and eight other littoral combat ships currently homeported at Naval Base San Diego.

Tulsa is the 15th littoral combat ship and the eighth of the Independence variant.

Photo: The crew of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Tulsa (LCS 16), brings the ship to life during its commissioning ceremony. Photo: US Navy