At center in the photo is former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, visiting her namesake U.S. Navy ship today at the Vigor shipyard on Harbor Island. We showed you a reader photo of the littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) as it arrived in June:
Vigor sent the top photo with a news release about Gifford visiting today along with her husband, Arizona U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, our state’s U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, and U.S. House Armed Services Committee chair Rep. Adam Smith. As noted in our June report, another LCS, USS Omaha (LCS 12), is coming to Vigor for the same work; today’s news release says that arrival is now expected in December. Vigor explains the work:
Both vessels are undergoing structural repairs throughout, replacing flight deck stanchions and underwater hull painting. Jet drives are being overhauled; the main propulsion engines are receiving a checkup and overhaul; and several ancillary systems are being repaired. Regular Planned Maintenance will also be conducted during the availability. Approximately 165 employees are expected to work on the ships during their stays.
Vigor says two other U.S. Navy ships are at its Harbor Island shipyard for maintenance right now – USS Chosin (CG 65), and USS Cape St. George (CG 71). Its news release also notes that USS Gabrielle Giffords is the 16th U.S. naval ship to be named for a woman by the U.S. Navy and the 13th since 1850 to be named after a living person. It’s been 10 years since Giffords survived an assassination attempt in a Tucson suburb.