Navy to christen future USNS Harvey Milk during ceremony in San Diego


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The Navy will christen its latest ship Saturday, a replenishment oiler named after slain civil rights leader Harvey Milk, during a ceremony in San Diego.

The future USNS Harvey Milk is the second ship in the Navy’s John Lewis class of fleet replenishment oilers, which will serve to refuel Navy ships at sea.

Saturday morning’s ceremonial address will be delivered by Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, with remarks from Navy leaders and a christening by Paula Neira, a Navy veteran and clinical program director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health.

“Tomorrow, we christen the future USNS Harvey Milk,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in a statement. “Leaders like Harvey Milk taught us that diversity of backgrounds and experiences help contribute to the strength and resolve of our nation. There is no doubt that the future sailors aboard this ship will be inspired by Milk’s life and legacy.”

The John Lewis-class of ships are each planned to be named after notable civil rights leaders and activists.

Milk served in the Navy during the Korean War as a diving officer, then became the first openly gay elected official in California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977.

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