The Navy’s first littoral combat ship (LCS) Freedom will be commissioned Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony at Veterans Park, Milwaukee, Wis.
Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Birgit Smith, the ship’s sponsor, is the widow of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The commissioning ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Smith gives the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
I have long been a supporter of the LCS program as a quick and cheap addition to the fleet. But as things have turned out to be neither quick nor cheap so far, I’m growing skeptical. It’s early in the cycle, of course, and it sure would be nice to see things work out.