Corporation and the U.S. Navy today commemorated the
keel-laying for Green Bay (LPD 20), the fourth of 12 ships being built
by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. The ceremony took place at the
sector's Avondale Operations in New Orleans, La.
Former secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig assigned the name
Green Bay to honor the nation's Midwest "city by the bay." Danzig
stated in 2000 that, "Green Bay is well known for its commitment to
team efforts. LPD 20 will be home to another team –- the U.S.
Navy–Marines Corps team no stranger to hard work and sacrifice to be
the best in the world." This will be the second ship named Green Bay,
following a patrol gunboat that saw service in the 1970s.
Keel-laying, the long-recognized naval tradition of laying down
the backbone and critical strength member of a ship, marks the
traditional beginning of construction of a ship. Participants, called
"authenticators," ensure the keel of the ship is "truly and fairly
laid" according to Navy regulations. This keel-laying follows several
months of design, engineering and material procurement, as well as
initial prefabrication work.
Capt. Sean Stackley, U.S. Navy, PMS 317, LPD 17 program
manager, spoke to the Avondale shipbuilders present at the ceremony.
"I am going to ask you to put your heart and soul into these
ships," he said. "We need them built well, we need them on time, and
we need them to serve for the next 40 years. You've demonstrated it so
far in the program and I look forward to a continuation on Green Bay
over the next three years."
"The LPD 17 program is the bedrock of the next decade of
shipbuilding at Avondale," said Dr. Philip A. Dur, Northrop Grumman
Ship Systems president. "This ship, the ones before her and the ones
after her, are the future of our company. And if you build her with
the care and the attention that it deserves, you will be shipbuilders
of the future."
"This is a ship with unique features," said Bruce Ballantyne,
Ship Systems' LPD 17 vice president. "A real warship that can go into
harm's way as well as perform the full range of amphibious missions.
We're proud to be marking this milestone today with the great Northrop
Grumman, U.S. Navy–Marine Corps team we have working on Green Bay, a
name synonymous with the hard work, team effort and team spirit it
takes to get the job done and be successful."
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems sector
operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; New Orleans and Tallulah,
La., as well as a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and
Japan. The sector, which currently employs more than 18,000
shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Louisiana and Mississippi, is
one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the
design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major
surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international
navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.