Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Savannah (LCS 28) arrived at its homeport of Naval Base San Diego March 1. Prior to arriving in San Diego, Savannah officially joined the fleet on Feb. 5 when it was commissioned in Brunswick, Georgia. During the ship’s sail-around, they completed a successful transit through the Panama Canal. Savannah will be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), USS Omaha (LCS 12), USS Manchester (LCS 14), USS Tulsa (LCS 16), USS Charleston (LCS 18), and USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), USS Kansas City (LCS 22), USS Oakland (LCS 24), and USS Mobile (LCS 26).
“This crew did an incredible job getting Savannah to its homeport of San Diego,” said Cmdr. Kevin Ray, Savannah’s commanding officer. “After being away from home and loved ones for many months, we’re thankful for the safe voyage and happy to be reunited with family.”
“I am happy to welcome USS SAVANNAH to the San Diego waterfront” said Capt. Jack Fay, commodore of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) 1. “The crew of Savannah worked hard to get to this point and I look forward to seeing them operate in the Fleet.”
LCS 28 is the sixth ship to be named in honor of the city of Savannah. The first was a coastal galley that provided harbor defense for the port of Savannah, 1799-1802. The second USS Savannah, a frigate, served as the flagship of the Pacific Squadron and then served in the Brazil Squadrons and Home Squadrons, 1844-1862. The third USS Savannah (AS 8) was launched in 1899 as the German commercial freighter, Saxonia. Seized in Seattle, Washington, upon the outbreak of World War I, the freighter was converted to a submarine tender and supported submarine squadrons in both the Atlantic and Pacific, 1917-1926. The fourth USS Savannah (CL 42) was a Brooklyn-class light cruiser commissioned in 1938. The warship served through the entire Mediterranean campaign, receiving three battle stars for service before decommissioning in 1945. The fifth USS Savannah (AOR 4) was a Wichita-class replenishment oiler commissioned in 1970.
Savannah is the 14th of the Independence-variant LCS to join the fleet. The Independence class is a class of littoral combat ships built for the United States Navy. The hull design evolved from a project at Austal to design a high speed, 40 knot cruise ship. That hull design evolved into the high-speed trimaran ferry HSC Benchijigua Express and the Independence class was then proposed by General Dynamics and Austal as a contender for Navy plans to build a fleet of smaller, agile, multipurpose warships to operate nearshore in the littoral zone. The Littoral Combat Ship is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats.