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U.S. Navy commissions eighth Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship

The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Billings (LCS 15), the eighth Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship, during a ceremony in Key West, Florida, Aug. 3.

“Billings was designed to operate and adapt to a rapidly changing environment,” said Joe DePietro, vice president of Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin. “She is equipped and ready for today’s threats and easily modifiable to meet the threats we may not even be aware of yet. Our team is confident Billings will be what the Navy needs when the fleet needs it.”

Billings is the first ship in the U.S. Navy to be named after the largest city in Montana. She sails with the motto, “Big Sky over Troubled Waters.”

“The citizens of Billings and the state of Montana will always be proud to call this ship their own,” said Bill Cole, the mayor of Billings and the chairman of the ship’s commissioning committee. “Wherever you sail, the people of Billings will always be with you and the Big Sky will always be over you.”

“This privilege is not lost on me,” said Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, commanding officer of Billings. “I am humbled by it and hope to exceed expectations in my remaining time with the Billings setting the tone for a safe, successful, and sustained legacy for this ship and all who will serve aboard her.”

Billings has a crew of approximately 70 Sailors, and is designed to operate near the shore and in the open ocean. This provides cost-effective force flexibility and allows the Navy to strengthen allied partnerships.

“A warship and its crew is better when they are ambassadors, better when they put a hand out—a hand of friendship, a hand of comfort, reassurance. But make no mistake, they can bring it. They’ve got power and they can fight,” said Adm. Craig S. Faller, Commander, U.S. …read more

Read more here:: Defence Blog (Naval)

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