Austal USA Celebrates Christening of LCS Kansas City
MOBILE, Ala. — Austal USA hosted the christening of the nation’s 22nd littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Kansas City, at its state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility Sept. 22, the company said in a release. Kansas City is the 11th of 17 Independence-variant LCS Austal USA has under contract with the U.S. Navy.
“Today marks a significant milestone with the christening of this amazing warship,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “Our talented shipbuilding team is proud to provide our Navy with an extraordinarily capable vessel that will honor Kansas City as she becomes an integral part of the U.S. naval fleet protecting our nation.”
The ship’s sponsor, Tracy Davidson, wife of Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members, and Austal USA employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal USA’s final assembly bay.
“We are honored to host Mrs. Davidson as the ship’s sponsor,” Perciavalle said. “No one other than an admiral’s wife, especially one so active in the Navy community, would be better suited for this important role to the ship and her crew.”
A native of Missouri with a degree from Southern Methodist University, Tracy is currently living in their 22nd house since marrying Adm. Davidson. She is an active Navy spouse who has volunteered with family readiness groups, been an Ombudsman, served on support group boards, and mentored the Command Leadership Class. Her recent positions include: the adviser to the Tidewater Officer Spouses Association, Tidewater Collection, Surface Officers Spouses and Continuum of Resource Education, four military support organizations in Norfolk.
Austal delivered Charleston (LCS 18) in the end of August, the third Independence-variant LCS delivered to the Navy this year. In addition to the future USS Kansas City, four more Independence-variant LCS are currently under construction, including Cincinnati (LCS 20), Oakland (LCS 24), Mobile (LCS 26) and Savannah (LCS 28), with construction on Canberra (LCS 30) scheduled to begin in early 2019. The future LCS 32 and 34 were awarded on Sept. 18 and will begin preproduction activities.