JACKSONVILLE, FL. The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Wichita (LCS 13) Saturday at Naval Station Mayport, Florida., near Jacksonville, where the ship will be homeported.
Kansas governor Jeff Colyer and members of the Kansas congressional delegation participated in the ceremonies.
— Senator Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) January 12, 2019
USS Wichita is the 13th vessel in the Freedom class of littoral combat ships, the Navy’s fastest and most versatile warships.
According to a media release from the Navy, the USS Wichita is designed to operate in shallow waters close to shore. A draft of only 13 feet enables the ship to conduct minesweeping operations, humanitarian support, anti-submarine and drug trafficking surveillance, among other missions. USS Wichita assets include a launching pad for two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
Crewmembers from the ship have visited Wichita three times to get to know their ship’s namesake city.
LCS 13 is the third Navy ship to bear Wichita’s name. The first USS Wichita (CA 45), a heavy cruiser commissioned in 1939, earned 13 battle stars during World War II. The second USS Wichita (AOR 1) was a replenishment oiler commissioned in 1968. During 24 years of service, that ship’s awards included four battle stars earned in Vietnam.