Navy orders new USS Mobile in Alabama
Amidst the fanfare and good weather, the U.S. Navy ordered the warship USS Mobile from its eponymous port in Alabama on Saturday.
Under Secretary of the Navy James Geurts led the ceremony – a naval tradition of welcoming new ships into active service – before a limited audience due to COVID-19 restrictions. The event was broadcast live.
Senator Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Delivered a speech celebrating both the Navy and the ship, which was built by Austal USA in Mobile and christened in 2019.
“Our job is to remind our friends and foes that the United States Navy is the most powerful navy to ever sail the Seven Seas, and that it must remain so,” he said, adding that “the Chinese are rapidly expanding their fleet “and the United States must keep pace.
The Mobile is the fifth Navy ship to bear the city’s name and the second active ship to be built in the same location where it was commissioned, according to the Department of Defense.
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“The ships are said to take on the personality of their namesake,” Tuberville said. “If you are from Mobile, you are known for your fighting spirit and your happy holidays.”
He added that the USS Mobile is “more than just a ship” and represents working families who face early morning, late evening and tight deadlines to build and prepare the 421 long ship for the service.
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Alabama residents celebrated the commissioning on Friday with a Mardi Gras-style event.
Cmdr. Christopher W. Wolff, third generation naval officer and commander of the Mobile, echoed Tuberville’s sentiment.
“It was an incredible experience knowing our namesake city so well, while having the opportunity to live, work and commission the ship right here in Mobile, where she was built,” Wolff said in a statement Friday. “We definitely felt welcome in the community and created a strong bond with the region which I am confident will last.”
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He added that Mobile “presents itself as a city born to celebrate, and the crew have truly embraced that philosophy as we celebrate our shipmates every day.”
The ship will be based in San Diego.