Keel-Laying Ceremony Held for Green Bay LPD 20

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Northrop Grumman 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 includes primary 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.
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