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Commissioning Date Set For USS Cincinnati

The USS Cincinnati undergoing acceptance trials in February 2019.
Austal USA
The USS Cincinnati undergoing acceptance trials in February 2019.

The U.S. Navy has set the date for when it will commission the USS Cincinnati (LCS 20).The Navy will host a commissioning ceremony on Oct. 5, 2019 in Gulfport, Mississippi. The littoral combat ship (LCS) will be stationed at Naval Base San Diego after it's commissioned.

The ship was delivered to the Navy in June by Austal USA, which has a more than $4.5 billion contract to provide 19 ships. The USS Cincinnati is the 10th Independence-variant littoral combat ship and will be the 18th LCS to enter the fleet, according to the company.

Ship sponsor, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, "will lead the time-honored Navy tradition giving the order to 'man our ship and bring her to life' during the ceremony," the military says. Pritzker also had the honor of smashing a bottle of Champagne on the ship's bow during its christening in May 2018.

"On behalf of the City of Cincinnati, I am honored to be Mayor as our namesake returns to sailing the seas," says Mayor John Cranley in a statement. "To us at home, Cincinnati represents the will and determination of a force too resilient to be defeated, and that is why we accept this ship with magnificent pride."

Cincinnati council member and Navy veteran David Mann traveled to Alabama for the christening ceremony and presented several items from the city to be enshrined aboard the ship. A key to the city, a history of previous USS Cincinnati vessels, several medallions of sentimental value, and a letter from the mayor were added to a small aluminum box that was welded to the inside of the ship's mast like a time capsule during a "mast stepping" ceremony.

As WVXU previously reported, the ship includes two LM2500 marine gas turbine engines built at GE Aviation in Evendale. "Each LM2500 engine produces over 29,500 horsepower, propelling the ship to speeds in excess of 40 knots, or 46 miles per hour," GE says.

A littoral combat ship is a "high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant designed to conduct surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region," according to Austal.

Indianapolis-native Cmdr. Kurt Braeckel is the commanding officer.

This is the Navy's fifth vessel to carry the name "Cincinnati."

(Information courtesy of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati.)

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.