Welcome aboard from the brand new USS Kansas City of the United States Navy, an Independence-class “littoral combat ship” valued at $4.5 billion.

The USS Kansas City was built in Mobile, Alabama by Austal USA. The ship was christened Sept. 22, 2018 in Mobile and launched Oct. 19, 2018.

The ship is capable of operating in the open ocean but is designed for coastal fighting. Its capabilities include mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and support for special operations and maritime interdiction.

She is 418 feet long with a beam of 104 feet and a 14-foot draft. Her displacement is 3,104 metric tons with a cruising speed is 40 knots (46 mph) and capable of sprinting up to 47 knots. She can accommodate up to 98 sailors on board.

The USS Kansas City Commissioning Committee is a non-profit 501(c)3. Sponsored by Tracy Davidson, wife of Admiral Philip S. Davidson, its mission is to provide the USS Kansas City with needed morale-building items the Navy does not provide, sponsor commissioning events, establish a scholarship fund for the benefit of the crew and build the foundation for a long-lasting relationship between the ship’s crew, Kansas City and the greater metropolitan area.

The first USS Kansas City never got built. The keel for the heavy cruiser was laid July 9, 1945 – as World War II was drawing to a close – and canceled a month later. The second, a replenishment oiler, was commissioned back in 1970 and saw service in the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War. She earned three battle stars and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for Vietnam service and the Navy Unit Citation Award Battle Group Echo, Desert Storm. The ship was decommissioned on Oct. 7, 1994. In 2013, she was broken up at All Star Metals, Brownsville, Texas.

The new USS Kansas City, soon to be commissioned, will join the USS Harry S. Truman in the protection of our nation.

In 1998, the Truman was the eighth addition to the Nimitz class of nuclear aircraft carriers. Those 10 carriers – more than 1,000 feet long – were the largest warships in the world until the larger, heavier USS Gerald R. Ford was commissioned two years ago.

To reach Ted W. Stillwell send an email to Ted@blueandgrey.com or call him at 816-896-3592.