The Secretary of the Navy was in Sioux City this weekend for the naming ceremony for the first ship to ever carry the western Iowa city’s name. Secretary Ray Maybus spoke at a city hall ceremony paid tribute to the actions of Sioux City Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel Bud Day.
“That’s the kind of character that the people of this city, that Sioux City has exemplified, and that’s the kind of character that will sail in the U.S.S. Sioux City,” Maybus said. The U.S.S. Sioux City is what’s called a littoral combat ship, and is designed to be able to switch its setup to do many things.
“Right now we’ve to three mission modules, we’ve got an anti-surface, anti-submarine and an anti-mine. But a lot more are in development and a lot more are on the way,” Maybus explained. “So when the mission changes, all she has to do is pull in, you take out one module and put in another, and she’ll be ready to go.”
The new ship will be fast, with a top speed of 40 knots. Construction is set to begin next year with completion by 2016. Maybus said the U.S.S. Sioux City is part of an effort to build the fleet back to levels that were seen around 9-11.
“We’re going to grow the fleet to 300 ships by 2019. Since December of 2010 we have put 40 ships under contract, and that compares to three in 2008. This is gonna allow us to protect America,” Maybus said. Maybus said the fleet had shrunk to 283 ships since 9-11, and they are able to rebuild it using fixed-price contracts and better competition from bidders.
Another ship in the same class as the U.S.S. Sioux city will be named the U.S.S. Omaha.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City