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Navy names new combat ship for Cleveland

October 8, 2018

Navy names new combat ship for Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The city will be the namesake of a new U.S. Navy fighting ship, the fourth since World War I.

In an announcement made October 8 by The Honorable Thomas B. Modly, Under Secretary of the Navy, the latest USS Cleveland will be a littoral combat ship, designed for coastline missions.

In making the announcement at the USS Cod Submarine Memorial, Modly said, the new ship “will be constructed by patriotic American hands, here in the United States, with a shallow draft, high speed and an open architecture that facilitates modularized weapons and cutting-edge sensor suites.

“The new USS Cleveland will be able to reach and defend more coastal areas with more agility, and more network firepower than any other class of ship in the world,” he added.

Modly said the Navy has 32 littoral combat ships, and contracts could be signed for construction of the USS Cleveland in January. Each ship costs from $600-$800 million, depending on the configuration, according to Modly.

Building the ship could take two years, and Modly said that if that construction takes place in Wisconsin, the ship could be commissioned in Cleveland.

Modly, a native Clevelander, said the Secretary of the Navy “decided that the people of Cleveland have waited long enough for a new fighting ship of the line.

“And this is great year to do it because as we all know the Indians are about to win a World Series, and the Browns are going to make the playoffs, so it’s a momentous year for this,” he added to cheers from about 100 assembled guests.

The first USS Cleveland was a cruiser commissioned in 1903, that served in convoy duty during World War I, and was decommissioned in 1930.

The second USS Cleveland was a light cruiser that saw action during World War II in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. It was scrapped in 1960.

The city’s third namesake was an amphibious transport dock that was used during the war in Vietnam and decommissioned in 2011.

The latest USS Cleveland will be able handle a variety of tasks from anti-submarine duties to dropping off Navy SEALs, according to Modly later told reporters.

“It’s a very innovative concept,” he added. “It’s really what we need in the Navy because we need to be a lot more agile, to be able to adapt to changing circumstances.”

In thanking the Navy for the honor, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson noted that two bells from the former namesake ships are displayed in the rotunda of city hall.

“We are honored that the Navy and those responsible for choosing Cleveland have done what they’ve done,” he said.

Modly said Cleveland’s selection as the namesake for the new ship reflected the city’s history.

“Clevelanders have risen proudly to answer the call to service, and still do,” Modly said. “Clevelanders are well represented on our Navy and Marine Corps team, and that should make us all very proud and feel very safe.

“Thank you for making this city such a special place, one that proudly defends the greatest country on earth,” he continued. “Today marks the beginning of a journey of this new ship, from drawing board to construction and to the sea.

“In the end, wherever that ship travels, the people who come in contact with her will learn what we all know is true: the USS Cleveland rocks!”

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