U.S. Navy to christen newest Expeditionary Fast Transport Newport
The U.S. Navy has announced that it will christen its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, the future USNS Newport (T-EPF 12) on 9 November.
Ceremonial practices for christening ships in the United States are one of the most important traditions of the Navy. The ceremony of christening new ships began in the distant past, and have their roots in Europe. Today, the christening of ships became great public events, with large crowds assembled to witness the ceremony with sparkling wine.
According to a news release, Navy will hold the christening ceremony of the future USNS Newport on Saturday, November 9, at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
The principal speaker is Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, President of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Mrs. Charlotte Marshall, a Newport native, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
“This ship honors the city of Newport, Rhode Island, and serves as a reminder of the contributions the community has and continues to make to our Navy,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Newport is a Navy town where many officers begin their careers and then return later for strategic training. It is right that a fourth ship will bear the name Newport to continue our long relationship, and provide our commanders high-speed sealift mobility and agility in the fight to defend our nation.”
The first Newport (Gunboat No. 12) was commissioned October 5, 1897. During the Spanish-American War, she received credit for assisting in the capture of nine Spanish vessels. The ship was decommissioned in 1898, but recommissioned in 1900 to serve as a training ship at the Naval Academy and at the Naval Training Station at Newport, R.I., until decommissioning in Boston in 1902.
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