On July 30, history will be made at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale as the first U.S. Navy ship will be commissioned in the city's name.
“The commissioning of USS Fort Lauderdale is the result of many years of coordination and hard work by our lawmakers, commissioning committee, civic leaders, contractors, industry specialists, and especially our sailors,” commanding officer Capt. James Quaresimo said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the uniformed men and women who gave a mountain of cold steel form and a heartbeat. And in turn, they should be proud of what they’ve done.”
The ship, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Charles "Chuck" Black, who died in 2016, dedicated much of his career to the commission by serving on the Navy League's national board of directors.
The effort is also created by the Navy League of the United States Fort Lauderdale Council and the USS Fort Lauderdale Commissioning Committee, which is chaired by Patricia Du Mont.
“Commissioning of the future USS Fort Lauderdale is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring South Floridians together to celebrate and salute a powerful bond between the U.S. Navy and the City of Fort Lauderdale,” Du Mont said. “We’re organizing meaningful events leading up to the Commissioning on July 30, and we plan to continue to support the ship and its crew as it goes into service with the U.S. Navy.”
The ship's motto, "Together We Fight," is a testament to its design as "a warship to embark, transport and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions."
It will be used to transport Marines as well as support amphibious assault and special operations, amongst other things.