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122513frontlaunch.jpg

LCS Milwaukee Enters The Menominee River

The Lockheed Martin led industry team launched the nation's fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Milwaukee, into the Menominee River at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Marinette on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 18.

The ship's sponsor, Mrs. Sylvia M. Panetta, wife of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, christened Milwaukee with the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle across the ship's bow just prior to the launch.

"It is a true privilege to serve as the sponsor for this ship as she begins her journey of service and commitment to our powerful Fleet," said Mrs. Panetta. "I am proud to support the ship's crew members over the course of her service to ensure she leads with strength and protects our freedom. My congratulations to the city of Milwaukee as this ship assumes its name."

Gov. Scott Walker also attended. He said, “This beautiful ship, honoring our largest city, showcases the exemplary workmanship of Marinette Marine and symbolizes a commitment to national security. This striking vessel is also an example of the value of skilled workers who helped build it, including welders, pipe fitters, electricians, engineers and information technology workers. I want to thank Fincantieri Marine Group, for its $100 million investment in Northeast Wisconsin, and also Marinette Marine for its commitment and belief in Wisconsin, our workforce, and our efforts to help meet demands for trained skilled workers.”

State Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) stated “Thank you, Lockheed Martin, Marinette Marine, Fincantieri, and the architects at Gibbs & Cox for their tremendous contributions made in Northeast Wisconsin, encouraging growth in our local economy. Marinette Marine is one of the best shipyards in the country. I am very proud to be a part of this historic day.”

Following christening and launch, Milwaukee will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015.

"We are honored to continue building these critical warships for the U.S. Navy," said Dale P. Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business. "As the service prepares to retire three ship classes in this strenuous budget environment, the Lockheed Martin-team's LCS is helping to fill those gaps affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions."

The U.S. Navy awarded the contract to construct Milwaukee in December 2010. The ship is one of four LCS currently under construction at Marinette Marine. 

"Marinette Marine is proud to provide another finely crafted warship to our nation's warfighters, especially one that bears the name of the largest city in our home state," said Chuck Goddard, president and CEO of Marinette Marine Corporation. "With the Milwaukee, Marinette Marine Corporation is now in full serial LCS production, an exciting accomplishment made possible by our skilled and dedicated workforce and our parent company, Fincantieri's, investment of $100 million."

The Lockheed Martin-led team designed and built USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). USS Freedom recently departed from the U.S. 7th Fleet following successful multi-national maritime exercises during her deployment to Southeast Asia. USS Fort Worth has completed her scheduled maintenance period and is currently in her San Diego homeport. Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) are in various stages of construction at MMC.

Wichita (LCS 13) and Billings (LCS 15) are in the early stages of material procurement.


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