Over 400 naval and shipyard guests attended the ceremony, which was held underneath and between the iconic twin hulls of the fourth Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) 'USNS Fall River'. The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, was the principal speaker at the event.
The 338-foot catamaran vessel was named Fall River by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, after the tenth largest city in the state of Massachusetts. According to Secretary Mabus, “The Fall River represents the physical embodiment of the city of Fall River’s patriotic spirit.”
The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Diane Bemus Patrick, the First Lady of Massachusetts, has her own record of excellence and distinguished professional and public service. A lawyer, teacher, mother and active member of her community, Mrs. Patrick has extensive experience in many walks of life.
“First Lady Patrick is the perfect sponsor for Fall River”, said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle, “She is tough, just like Fall River will be. She makes a difference, just like Fall River will.” He went on to praise the ship, saying: "Fall River is a revolutionary and cost-effective new platform with cutting edge technology, bringing an unprecedented level of flexibility, mobility, volume, efficiency and support to our combatant commanders and nation.”
Austal explains that it has been contracted by the U.S. Navy to build ten 103-meter JHSVs under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract, two of which have already been delivered, and eight 127-meter Independence-variant LCS class ships, six of which are a part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.
Three JHSVs and four LCSs are currently under construction in Austal’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard. Austal will begin production of one more ship in each program before the end of January. For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics.