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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Keel Laid for Future USS Pierre (LCS 38)

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 19, 2023

Image courtesy Austal USA

Image courtesy Austal USA

Austal USA hosted a keel laying ceremony for the future USS Pierre (LCS 38) Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship at the company’s Gulf Coast shipyard.  Ship sponsor Larissa Thune Hargens, with the assistance of Hon Tran – a 13-year Austal USA veteran A-class welder, authenticated the keel by welding her initials into a keel plate that will be welded to the hull of the ship.

The future USS Pierre is the final Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship being built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.  LCS 38 is the second U.S. Navy ship named for the South Dakota capital city. The original USS Pierre (PC-1141) was a submarine chaser built during World War II.

Hargens, a native of South Dakota, graduated from Bethel University. Hargens is involved with a non-profit incentive program that helps limited-income pregnant women in Sioux Falls, her father is U.S. Senator John Thune and 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.

Pierre is planned for delivery in late 2024 and will be homeported in San Diego, Calif., along with the other Independence LCSs that have been delivered to the fleet.