General Dynamics NASSCO has christened the future USNS John Lewis (TAO 205), the first ship for the U.S. Navy’s John Lewisclass fleet oiler program.
A christening ceremony for the vessel was held over the weekend and attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DCA), serving as the principal speak, along with representatives from NASSCO and the U.S. Navy. The ship’s sponsor, Alfre Woodard Spencer, christened the ship with the traditional champagne bottle break alongside the hull.
“The christening ceremony today takes on a very special meaning, for it marks the oneyear anniversary, to the day, of John Lewis’ passing.” said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “Just as its namesake, this majestic vessel will be instrumental in shaping the future of our Nation. The shipbuilders of NASSCO are proud to ensure Congressman John Lewis’ legacy will live on in this ship.”
The Navy awarded General Dynamics NASSCO with a contract in 2016 for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, previously known as the TAO(X). The contract calls for the design and construction of six 742footlong oilers with a full load displacement of 49,850 tons.
Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the oilers have the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and are capable of speeds up to 20 knots.
“As House Speaker, I am deeply honored to lead this Congressional delegation of many friends of our beloved late Congressman John Lewis to honor his beautiful and saintly life,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “John Lewis was a warrior for freedom and, as a titan of the civil rights movement, his courage and goodness helped transformed our nation. In the halls of the Capitol, he was fearless in his pursuit of a more perfect union, whether fighting to defend voting rights, end antiLGBTQ discrimination or respect the dignity and worth of every person.”
In addition to the John Lewis, three ships in the TAO class fleet oiler program for the U.S. Navy – the future USNS Harvey Milk (TAO 206), the future USNS Earl Warren (TAO 207), and the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (TAO 208) – are all currently under construction at NASSCO. The second ship, the future USNS Harvey Milk (TAO 206) is scheduled to launch later this year.
The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of News2Sea.
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