Marine Link
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Future USS Pierre (LCS 38) Christened

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 19, 2024

Image courtesy Austal USA

Image courtesy Austal USA

Austal USA celebrated the christening of the company’s 19th Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) today – the future USS Pierre (LCS 38).  Ship sponsor Larissa Thune Hargens executed the ceremonial bottle break over the bow of Pierre.

Hargens, a native of South Dakota, graduated from Bethel University, in Saint Paul, Minn., with a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. Since graduating, Hargens has held several positions with the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota and currently owns her own LLC, Red Writer, where she does freelance marketing and social media.  

The call to serve runs deep in Hargens’ family.  

Her grandfather was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Fighting Squadron 18 (VF-18) on the USS Intrepid (CV-11) during World War II and her father is U.S. Senator John Thune. Hargens has continued that tradition by serving with a non-profit incentive program that helps limited-income pregnant women.

Key speakers at the ceremony included Vice Admiral Morley, USN, Commander Naval Sea Systems Command; Rear Admiral Anderson, USN, Program Executive Office Ships; U.S. Senator John Thune representing South Dakota; and Austal USA President Michelle Kruger.  

LCS 38 is the second ship named in honor of the capital city of South Dakota, a region with a rich American culture that includes a great history of service to the Navy and Marine Corps.  The first USS Pierre, a World War II PC class submarine chaser, was commissioned in 1943 and decommissioned in 1958.  Pierre (LCS 38) is the last Independence-variant LCS to be christened.  Following delivery, she will join her sister ships homeported in San Diego and deploying to the INDO-PACOM region.  

The Austal USA-built LCS variant is also providing support to the Navy’s unmanned programs with USS Oakland (LCS 24) operating as a mothership for the Unmanned Surface Division 1 vessels Ranger, Mariner, Seahawk and Sea Hunter; the large flight decks support unmanned drones, like the MQ-8C Fire Scout. Integration of the mine countermeasures (MCM) mission package placed aboard USS Canberra (LCS 30) signifies additional capabilities planned for Independence-class ships.

Image courtesy Austal USA