Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson has written Navy Secretary Ray Mabus requesting that ship made at Austal USA in downtown Mobile be named for the city.
Mobile’s Public Safety Director Rich Landolt is a retired Navy Admiral and came up with the idea.
“I think it is past due that we had a ship named after the City of Mobile,” said Landolt.
Littoral Combat ships are almost always named for U.S. cities. Right now, the Montgomery sits on the Mobile River while the under construction Omaha pokes its bow out of the construction bay at Austal.
An exception to the naming procedure was made for the Gabrielle Giffords – the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot. The Giffords is docked at Austal awaiting commissioning.
LCS named for Coronado, California, Jackson Mississippi, Montgomery, Omaha, and Manchester, New Hampshire have been built or are under construction at Austal. Four Future Mobile-made LCS already have been given names – The Tulsa, Charleston, Cincinnati, and Kansas City.
That leaves just two ships to go under Austal’s contract with the Navy.
“It makes sense that we put a little bit of Mobile in each ship in the LCS Navy that we have a ship named after us,” said Landolt.
Officials at Austal won’t comment on the mayor’s request to name a ship after Mobile, saying it’s not their place. They don’t name them, they just make them.
There have been several USS Mobiles in US Navy history. The last USS Mobile – an amphibious cargo ship – was decommissioned in 1994. Before that, a lighter cruiser called the Mobile earned 11 battle stars in World War 2.
Navy cruisers are typically named for battles so there is a USS Mobile Bay – named for the Civil War battle – not the city.