USS Santa Barbara Littoral Combat Ship Enters Service

The US Navy has commissioned the USS Santa Barbara littoral combat ship (LCS 32) in Port Hueneme, California.

The vessel will be transferred to its home port of US Naval Base San Diego after the ceremony.

A New Home

The Santa Barbara is the third to bear the name, following a 1918 single-crew steel freighter and a 1970 Kilaue-class ammunition ship.

“The city of Santa Barbara is rich in history, spanning hundreds of years of change and progress that make Santa Barbara an iconic location and a fitting name for LCS 32,” US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said.

“During the second World War, it was home to a Marine Corps Air Station and a Naval Reserve Center. Today, many Veterans and their families continue to call Santa Barbara ‘home.’”

“Though our Navy and Marine Corps footprint is smaller than in decades past, the spirit of military service and connection with the city of Santa Barbara remains strong.”

230331-N-AS200-0021 PORT HUENEME, Calif. (Mar. 31, 2023) The Independence-class variant littoral combat ship USS Santa Barbara (LCS32), is in port onboard Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) for her Commissioning Ceremony, Mar. 31. NBVC is a strategically located Naval installation composed of three operating facilities: Point Mugu, Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island. NBVC is the home of the Pacific Seabees, West Coast E-2D Hawkeyes, 3 warfare centers and 80 tenants. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Drew Verbis/Released)
USS Santa Barbara, an Independence-class littoral combat ship. Photo: Ensign Drew Verbis/US Navy

The Growing US Navy LCS Fleet

The LCS fleet is mission-tailored to operate in the open ocean and near-shore environments.

Completed US Navy LCS units have been integrated into manned, unmanned, combined, and joint teams.

The Santa Barbara is an Independence-class LCS variant being constructed by Austal in Mobile, Alabama. A second set of LCS variants, the Freedom class, is being developed by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin.

“Littoral Combat Ships are versatile platforms. A successor in heritage to the escort fleets of the Second World War,” US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Samuel Paparo said.

“They are ideal for integrating into joint, combined, manned and unmanned teams to support maritime security operations and humanitarian missions around the globe. Our nation needs this great ship—and most of all, the Sailors and Marines who serve on board.”

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