The Navy’s newest Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Wichita (LCS 13), will be commissioned at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Naval Station Mayport. This event is open to the public, but tickets are required.

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Kate Lehrer will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Lehrer will give the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, a native of Nashville, Tennessee is the commanding officer of the ship and leads the core crew of 70 officers and enlisted personnel. The 3,500-ton Wichita was built by was built by Lockheed Martin-led Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. The ship is 378 feet in length, has a beam of 57 feet, and a navigational draft of 14 feet. The ship is powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and four waterjets to speeds up to 40-plus knots.

LCS 13 is the fourteenth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the seventh of the Freedom variant. It is the third Navy combat ship named after Wichita, the largest city in Kansas.

The littoral combat ship is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft. They are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

USS Wichita will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

For those unable to attend, the ceremony will be live-streamed at: http://www.navy.mil/ah_online/live/ah-live.asp. The link will become active approximately five minutes prior to the event (9:55 a.m. EST).