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Newport News Christens Sealift Ship On Independence Day

Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Tenneco, christened sealift ship USNS Gordon on July 4 at the shipyard. In 1993, NNS was awarded the contract to convert two containerships into combined RoRo and LoLo ships to carry U.S.

Army equipment, vehicles and supplies. The ceremony on July 4 marked the official naming of the first of these two converted ships.

Both strategic sealift ships being produced at NNS will be named after Medal of Honor recipients. USNS Gordon is named in honor of Master Sgt. Gary Gordon, a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor. Master Sgt. Gordon won the nation's highest military award for saving the life of a downed pilot of an Army helicopter in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993.

Carmen Gordon, Master Sgt. Gordon's widow, broke the ceremonial bottle of champagne over the ship during the naming ceremony. The principal speaker for the event was Congressman John P. Murtha (D-Pa.). The event also included a parachute jump by the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team, a fireworks display, a pass-in-review by World War II and modern-day Army vehicles, and public tours of USNS Gordon.

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