Northrop Grumman to Christen Amphibious Ship

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ship Systems sector will christen San Antonio (LPD 17), the first in a new class of 12 amphibious transport dock ships being built for the U.S. Navy, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony on Saturday, July 19, 2003. Hundreds of invited guests and employees will be in attendance for the dockside ceremony at the company's Avondale Operations, alongside the Mississippi River near New Orleans, La. The 684-foot-long ship is named in honor of the city of San Antonio, Texas. The ship's sponsor is the Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. senator, State of Texas. Mrs. Trisha Wilson and Mrs. Peggy Carr, both of Dallas, and Mrs. Cathy Obriotti Green of San Antonio, are the ceremony's Matrons of Honor, and will join Senator Hutchison at the culmination of the christening ceremony when she breaks a bottle of Texas sparkling wine across the new ship's bow. Gen. Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, will deliver the principal christening address. Also speaking at the christening will be the Honorable Mary Landrieu, U.S. senator, State of Louisiana; the Honorable William Jefferson, U.S. representative, District 2, Louisiana; the Honorable Hansford T. Johnson, acting secretary of the Navy; Rear Adm. Charles S. Hamilton II, Program Executive Officer, Ships; Capt. John R. Exell, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion & Repair, New Orleans; Dr. Ronald D. Sugar, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman Corporation; Dr. Philip A. Dur, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems; and George R. Yount, vice president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Avondale Operations. Expected to attend the ceremony are the Honorable John J. Young Jr., assistant secretary of the Navy (Research, Development & Acquisition); Vice Adm. Phillip Balisle, USN, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command; Gordon England, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and former secretary of the Navy; Captain-select Jon Padfield, USN, of Salt Lake City, Utah, Prospective Commanding Officer, San Antonio (LPD 17); and Lt. Barbara Wood, Chaplain Corps, USNR, who will deliver the ceremony's invocation. Also on hand will be the Honorable Ed Garza, Mayor of the City of San Antonio, as well as former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton, who chose the name San Antonio for this first of a class, and his wife, Margaret, who is president of the Society of Sponsors of the U.S. Navy. Designed by Northrop Grumman using a new, integrated, high-tech 3-D modeling and simulation software, the San Antonio-class ship will embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force in a variety of expeditionary and special operations capable missions. As the first ship designed for the 21st century "Mobility Triad," the ship will support 699 (800 including surge) embarked troops using advanced amphibious assault vehicles, air cushion landing craft and the Marine Corps' new, tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey - for high-speed, long-range tactical-lift operations. The ships can also accommodate any helicopter in the Marine Corps inventory.
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