By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob I. Allison, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- The littoral combat ship USS Manchester was commissioned as the Navy’s newest surface combatant vessel during a ceremony here, May 26.
The vessel is the Navy’s second ship to be named for the city of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Littoral combat ships are high speed, agile, shallow draft, surface combatant vessels designed for operations in the near-shore environment, yet fully capable of open-ocean operations.
“The faces of the sailors that ran to man this ship are the faces that I’ve seen day after day for the last 22 months as we worked to bring this ship to life,” Navy Cmdr. Emily Basset, Manchester’s commanding officer and a Seattle native, said during the vessel’s commissioning ceremony.
‘Each Sailor is Highly Trained’
Basset added, “They took the city of Manchester's Latin motto, ‘Labor Vincit’ -- work conquers -- and they have personified the spirit of our namesake city. Each sailor is highly trained and must do the duties that three or four would do on another ship. These sailors are reasons to make us all proud.”
The ship’s sponsor, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen representing New Hampshire, gave the traditional order to, “Man this ship and bring her to life,” signaling the sailors to embark and officially begin the vessel’s service as a Navy ship.
For the ship’s crew, the day was the culmination of months’ worth of work to get the Manchester prepared for commissioning. Having the commissioning in the ship’s namesake state was a special opportunity for some of Manchester’s sailors.
“It’s really amazing to be on a ship named for [a city in] my home state,” said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Laryssa Noyes, an information systems technician from Derry, New Hampshire. “It’s really quite an honor that I’m here for this. It’s awesome because my family got to be here and see what I do on a daily basis.”
After the ceremony, the ship will transit to join Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 and eight other littoral combat ships currently homeported at Naval Base San Diego.
Manchester is the 12th littoral combat ship and the seventh of the Independence variant.
Litterol combat ships have the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, the vessels provide a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.