WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 8 SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY 2014
er, with fewer than 200 U.S.-flag
ships, and they have no LNG vessels in the fleet or in production.
Jaenichen said that MARAD
wants to continue the discussion
“We have to make our words
count, going forward, because we
don’t have a choice otherwise,” he
One of the main overarching
themes of the conference was the
need to find new trades and cargo
opportunities to support the fleet.
Jaenichen, who was nominated
to be maritime administrator by
President Barack Obama in September, noted that before building
up, they have to hold onto what
they have. With a dwindling U.S.-flag fleet, there are questions
regarding the future health of the
industry and its presence on a
“Going forward, we are going to
have to keep in mind that there is a
reality,” he said.
That reality includes tighter
budgets and a Panama Canal expansion project that will allow ships
larger than 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units to pass through its locks.
Littoral Combat Ship
Milwaukee is Launched
The Lockheed Martin-led industry
team on Dec. 18 launched the
nation’s fifth Littoral Combat Ship
(LCS), Milwaukee, into the Menominee River at the Marinette Marine
Corp. shipyard, Marinette, Wis.
The ship’s sponsor, Sylvia M.
Panetta, christened Milwaukee
with the traditional smashing of a
champagne bottle across the ship’s
bow just prior to the launch.
“It is a true privilege to serve as
the sponsor for this ship as she
begins her journey of service and
commitment to our powerful
fleet,” said Panetta, the wife of for-
mer Defense Secretary Leon Pa-
netta. “I am proud to support the
ship’s crew members over the
course of her service to ensure she
leads with strength and protects
our freedom. My congratulations
to the city of Milwaukee as this
ship assumes its name.”
Milwaukee will continue to
undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015.
The U.S. Navy awarded the contract to construct Milwaukee in
December 2010. The ship is one of
four LCSs currently under construction at Marinette Marine.
The Lockheed Martin-led team
designed and built USS Freedom
(LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS
3). USS Freedom recently departed
from the U.S. Seventh Fleet following successful multinational maritime exercises during its deployment to Southeast Asia. USS Fort
Worth has completed its scheduled
maintenance period and is currently in its San Diego homeport.
Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS
9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) are in
various stages of construction at
Marinette Marine. Wichita (LCS 13)
and Billings (LCS 15) are in the early
stages of material procurement.
Paxton: Shortage of
Shipping Has Impacted
The Marine Corps’ No. 2 officer
said Jan. 15 that the Navy-Marine
Corps team is “as strong as it’s been
in many years,” but noted how a
number of recent Marine operations have been impacted by the
shortage of amphibious shipping.
Gen John M. Paxton Jr., the Marine Corps’ assistant commandant,
told the Surface Navy Association’s
National Symposium that the Corps
would have preferred to put its land-based Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response
on amphibious ships and could have
responded faster to the mission to
evacuate Americans from Sudan if
Navy shipping had been available.
A similar problem affected the
Marines’ response to the humanitarian assistance mission in the
Philippines after the devastating
typhoon late last year.
“We have a great Navy-Marine
Corps team, but that’s illustrative
of the shortage of shipping,” Paxton said.
The fifth Littoral Combat Ship, Milwaukee, rests after its launch into the
Menominee River at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard, Marinette, Wis., Dec.
18. Milwaukee is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2015.