UPDATE: 8:15 AM
The ship started making its movements in the Mobile River at about 7:40 this morning. Tugboats help the vessel make an 180-degree turn in front of the Outlaw Convention Center. The ship was pointed southward and didn’t stop moving after that.
Mobile, AL (WKRG)
The LCS vessel named for a former Congresswoman is leaving Austal for the last time today. Austal reports the LCS 10, the USS Gabrielle Giffords will head out of the Port City this morning at approximately 7 AM.
“In Congress, I was proud to support our armed forces. I love the Navy. I even married a sailor,” Giffords said from the podium at the ship’s christening in 2015. As he stood proudly by her side, her husband, former astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, said Giffords’ experience is synonymous with the ship named after her.
“She’s still working very hard on her recovery. She’s coming back, and she’s getting stronger, just like this ship,” said Kelly in 2015.
Not everyone was thrilled when Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced he would name the nation’s 10th Littoral Combat Ship after Gifford. Critics argued that Gifford didn’t have the military experience that would warrant getting a ship named after her. Naval officers at the 2015 christening ceremony couldn’t disagree more.
“I can’t think of a better name! If you want to talk about a ship that’s flexible, versatile, willing to go in harm’s way, You can’t get a better name than Gabrielle Giffords,” said Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment.