U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Canberra (LCS 30) Saturday in Australia. The commissioning ceremony at the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East in Sydney marks the first time a U.S. Navy ship has been commissioned outside of the United States.
The USS Canberra was built at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. It will be homeported in San Diego, California.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said both the ship’s name — USS Canberra – and the special ceremony in Australia today recognizes the strong connection between the two nations and their navies.
“This is a tangible symbol of America and Australia’s mettle, seapower, and enduring, strategic partnership,” said Chairman Reed. “The alliance between the United States and Australian strengthens the national security of both great nations.
According to the U.S. Navy, the only other time a U.S. ship has held a foreign city’s name was the USS Canberra’s predecessor (CA 70), a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser that was launched in 1943 during World War II. That ship was named to honor the loss of the HMAS Canberra, and the deaths of over 80 Royal Australian Navy sailors, after it was sunk during the battle off Savo Island while supporting the landing of U.S. forces on Guadalcanal.
As the Navy’s newest warship was ushered into service today, Australian defense officials announced that an Australian officer would forever be part of the USS Canberra’s crew.
Independence-variant littoral combat ships are designed to be fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored, surface combatants that operate both close to shore and in open-ocean environments. LCS integrate with joint, combined, crewed, and unmanned systems to support forward-presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe. The USS Canberra’s sister ships — USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), USS Manchester (LCS 14), and USS Mobile (LCS 26) — are all currently on deployment in the Indo-Pacific.
The USS Caberra is the 16th commissioned Independence-variant LCS.
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