US Navy Commissions Littoral Combat Ship USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul

The US Navy commissioned its latest littoral combat ship, the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21), this weekend in Duluth, Minnesota.

The US Navy describes this class of ships as “a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats.”

LCSs can support forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Past and Present

The USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the second naval vessel named after Minnesota’s Twin Cities. However, US Navy ships have been named after each city separately before.

The first warship to bear the name, the Los Angeles-class submarine Minneapolis-Saint Paul, was launched in 1983 and participated in Operation Desert Storm. It was the first submarine to carry Tomahawk missiles, striking Iraqi targets during the conflict.

Serving for over 20 years, the submarine was decommissioned in 2007.

The newly-commissioned Minneapolis-Saint Paul was built by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. Launched in June 2019, the vessel completed acceptance trials in Augustus, 2020, and was delivered to the US Navy in November the year after.

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul Sailors salute during the commissioning ceremony of USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21)
USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul Sailors salute the audience during the commissioning ceremony of USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) in Duluth, Minnesota. Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sonja Wickard/US Navy

“I am incredibly proud of this crew for their dedication to shipmate and ship as we worked toward the commissioning of USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul,” commanding officer of the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul Cmdr. Alfonza White said. “We are honored to carry the name Minneapolis-Saint Paul into the fleet.”

The principal speaker at the commissioning ceremony, Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota’s 4th District, stated that “the strength of America’s national security … [is] being tested today like they have not been in decades.”

“I can think of no two names that represent that strength more than Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Together we are one team – those who built this fine ship, and those who will serve on her. It is the strength and determination of the American people that is the backbone of our national security,” she added.

The USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul will be based at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

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