A mammoth warship sits in the Detroit River with the citizens of the Motor City starring up at the floating military base. This will be the site in the spring of 2016 when the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Detroit, is commissioned by the Navy on Motown’s main water way.
“We are looking forward to hosting USS Detroit, crewmembers and their families during commissioning week,” said Captain John G. McCandless, USN (Ret.), commissioning committee chairman and president of the Metropolitan Detroit Council, Navy League of the United States. “There will be many opportunities for Detroit-area residents to show support for their namesake ship and her crew, not only during commissioning week, but at events leading up to commissioning.”
This is hardly the first time that the Navy has fixed its eye on Detroit, aside from the city building large amounts of their machinery in WWII. This is the sixth time that they have named a warship after Detroit. This time the plan was set into motion on November 8, 2012, by Barbara Levin, the ship’s sponsor and wife of Senator Carl Levin. In spring of 2016 after the Mrs. Levin cracks the champagne on the bow christening it, the ship will sail on the Menominee River, which acts as the border of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.
“It‘s so fitting that we will commission the USS Detroit, which embodies the next generation of our Navy’s capabilities, in a city focusing on new horizons,” said Barbara Levin. “As the USS Detroit’s sponsor and a lifelong resident of Detroit, I am truly proud that we will have this opportunity to introduce a great ship and a great city to one another.”
The commissioning ceremony will be brought to the city by local philanthropic, business, and civic members of the community. The job of gathering together the community support belongs to the USS Detroit Commissioning Committee. Its honorary chairman is Jay Farner, president and chief marketing officer at Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans also happens to be the largest Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan lender.
“Quicken Loans holds a deep sense of gratitude toward the men and women in our military who so selflessly give of themselves to ensure our freedom and way of life,” said Farner. “It is an honor to spearhead this effort and get our community excited about supporting this ship that not only carries our name, but represents our great city in its future endeavors around the globe.”
Once the USS Detroit joins the rest of the naval fleet both open ocean and near the shore can be called home. The fast and agile design of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) allows for either type of operation. The LCS class consists of two variants, the monohull Freedom-class and the trihull Independence-class. USS Detroit (LCS 7) will be the seventh Littoral Combat Ship and the fourth Freedom-class LCS to join the U.S. Navy fleet.
The crew will consist of 50 Navy men and women when the 389 ft. long ship when it comes to full service. It will be powered by two diesel engines when cruising and will rely on two Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines when it needs to reach up to 40 knots. Freedom Class LCS are comprised of 2,000 tons of steel and 500 ton of aluminum, enough to make 65 million 12 ounce soda cans.