SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Navy Saturday commissioned its newest combat ship Saturday, the USS Tulsa, which eventually will be docked in San Diego.
The Independence-variant littoral combat ship was commissioned in a ceremony in San Francisco Bay Saturday. The ship is the second to bear Tulsa’s name after the Navy fleet included a Asheville-class gunboat from 1923 to 1944. The former USS Tulsa operated mostly near Australia and the Phillipines during World War II before being renamed the USS Tacloban.
“This ship is named in honor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but represents more than one city,” said Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. “USS Tulsa represents an investment in readiness and lethality, and is a testament to the increased capabilities made possible by a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industrial base.”
Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, and former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor both attended the ceremony. Lankford gave the ceremony’s principal address.
“This is not just about Oklahoma history and Oklahoma tradition,” Lankford said. “This is American tradition.”
Taylor, who served as the USS Tulsa’s sponsor, gave the ship’s first order: “Man our ship and bring her to life.”
The ship will eventually join nine other littoral combat ships in San Diego. Residents can view a recording of the commissioning ceremony, which was held at 10 a.m. Saturday, on the Navy’s website, navylive.dodlive.mil.