SAN DIEGO–The U.S. Navy’s newest ship, USNS John Glenn (MLP-2), was Christened Saturday morning at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard.
Named in honor of the famed Marine Corps pilot, Congressional Space Medal of Honor recipient and four-term U.S. senator, the USNS John Glenn is the second ship of three Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) vessels designed and built by NASSCO.
More than 200 attended the ceremony, including Congresswoman Susan Davis, Congressman Scott Peters, NASA astronaut and retired Marine Corps Major General Charles Bolden, Jr., Lieutenant General John Toolan (USMC), Rear Admiral Thomas Shannon (USN), Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics NASSCO, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, who was the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
Senator John Glenn, his wife of 70 years, Annie, and their daughter, Lyn Glenn, the ship’s sponsor, sat with dignitaries on stage for the one-hour ceremony.
“With pride we christen the USNS John Glenn. May this ship serve our country well and be strengthened with the legacy of our distinguished guest, the Honorable John Glenn,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “The USNS John Glenn carries with it the skill, dedication and the high regard for quality of the hundreds of men and women involved in its design and construction.”
“This is an exciting day for the NASSCO-Navy-industry team, as MLP 2 joins a distinguished tradition of NASSCO ships directly supporting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.,” Graney said.
The MLP is a flexible platform that will provide capability for large scale logistics movements such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. It will significantly reduce dependency on foreign ports and provide support in the absence of any port, making it especially useful during disaster response and for supporting Marines once they are ashore.
At the end of the ceremony, Lyn Glenn, christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel’s hull.
USNS John Glenn will be delivered to the Navy in the first quarter of 2014.