The U.S. Navy celebrated the commissioning of Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Kansas City (LCS 22), Friday, December 17, at Naval Base San Diego. Kansas City was administratively commissioned on June 20, 2020, but due to restrictions on large gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time, no traditional commissioning ceremony was held. In addition to Berger, Vice Adm. Ross Myers, Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Fleet and a Kansas City native, was among those who spoke at the ceremony. Fifth District U.S. Representative (MO) Emanuel Cleaver II and Mayor of Kansas City Quinton Lucas were able to speak virtually at the ceremony.
Kansas City is the 11th of the Independence-variant to join the fleet and the second ship to be named for Kansas City. The name Kansas City was assigned to a heavy cruiser during World War II. However, construction was canceled after one month due to the end of the war. The name Kansas City was also assigned to the Wichita-class replenishment oiler AOR-3 in 1967. This ship saw service in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and was decommissioned in 1994. Kansas City was christened in a traditional ceremony at Austal shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, on Sept. 22, 2018. Since its administrative commissioning, USS Kansas City has been an active littoral combat ship in the U.S. Navy, including successful completion of certifications and participation in exercise Resolute Hunter in November 2021.
“It is important that we are taking the time now to fully celebrate this final milestone for Kansas City and to properly welcome her to sunny San Diego,” said Meredith Berger, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy and as the event’s keynote speaker.
“The dedication professionalism and sacrifice you display have fueled the ship’s success already. The pandemic did not stop the crew from making an immediate and positive impact,” Vice Adm. Ross Myers, Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Fleet said.
“Thank you so much to everyone who supported us, the persistence to honor the ship in this commemoration was unyielding’” said Capt. Christopher Brusca, the commanding officer of USS Kansas City.
USS Kansas City is 377 feet long, has a 103-foot beam, and can operate at speeds over 40 knots. She has a crew of approximately 70 personnel. To ensure the health and safety of the crew and all those in attendance during the ceremony on Friday, attendance was limited and no public or media tours were held. Masks were required in all indoor spaces and encouraged in outdoor spaces. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.