The United States Navy has commissioned Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16) as the Navy's newest surface combatant in a ceremony in San Francisco Feb. 16.
Tulsa will join the fleet at a time of expansion of capability as well as increased demand on the Navy forces, the Navy said in a statement Monday.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Guertz noted Tulsa is the fifth ship the Navy has commissioned in the past 50 days and one of 13 ships slated to be commissioned this year – up from eight a year ago – as part of broader efforts to ensure the nation's maritime freedom.
After the ceremony, the ship will transit to San Diego to join Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 and eight other littoral combat ships currently homeported at Naval Base San Diego. Tulsa is the fifteenth littoral combat ship and the eighth of the Independence variant.
Littoral combat ships are high speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatants designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, littoral combat ships have the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, the littoral combat ships provide a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.