The USS Sioux City (LCS 11) will be christened as the Navy’s newest Freedom variant littoral combat ship on Saturday in Marinette, Wisconsin.
With Adm. Michelle Howard, vice chief of naval operations, serving as principal speaker, and Mary Winnefeld, wife of retired Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, as the ship’s sponsor, the ceremony will culminate with Winnefeld breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow, a Navy tradition.
"The hard work and dedication of our nation's shipbuilders have ensured this ship will serve as a representation of both Sioux City and our Navy and Marine Corps' ability to deliver presence for decades to come," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said.
The name "Sioux City," the fourth-largest city in Iowa, carries deep historical significance in the U.S. military. The U.S. Naval Reserve Construction Battalion 2 was deployed from Sioux City Naval Reserve Training Center to Vietnam in 1967, and in February 1968, the Iowa Air National Guard's 185th Tactical Fighter Squadron was deployed out of Sioux City to respond to North Korea's seizure of the USS Pueblo.
The Freedom variant and the Independence variant make up the two variants of the LCS class. The LCS seaframes are rigged with reconfigurable mission modules. combined with crew detachments and aviation assets, these modules morph into mission packages, designed to deploy vehicles and sensors when carrying out mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions.