The USS Milwaukee was christened Wednesday afternoon at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard. The shipâ??s sponsor, Sylvia Panetta, wife of the former Secretary of Defense, had the honors.
"It's very special,â?? said Panetta. â??I've never done this before. This is a wonderful opportunity to be with people who are committed to duty, to service, to public service, which is what my husband and I are about."
Throughout the christening, the countryâ??s service men and women were remembered and honored.
â??First and foremost, thatâ??s what a day like today is all about,â?? said Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin. â??So, will you stand? And letâ??s give them another round of applause.â??
The Littoral Combat Ship is a speedy warship designed for water combat immediately off the enemyâ??s shore. They can be used to hunt submarines, defend ground troops and support unmanned aerial vehicles.
Naming the ship Milwaukee continues the practice of naming LCS vessels after American cities, communities and towns. This is the fifth naval ship to bear the name of Wisconsinâ??s largest city. Capable of reaching speeds greater than 40 knots, this will be the fastest USS Milwaukee yet.
The vessel is over 380 feet, has a flight deck one-and-a-half times that of traditional combatants, and requires a core crew of 40 sailors.
â??Today we dedicated a great ship, the USS Milwaukee,â?? Panetta said. "It will serve as a vital part of our naval fleet. But, the real strength of America rests with those military personnel who will serve on this ship.â??
The ceremony ended with the ship sliding into the water as the crowds applauded.