MARINETTE - The nation's third littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Fort Worth, is set to sail from Marinette Marine Corporation.
The ship, delivered two months early, was constructed at the shipyard by industry team members Lockheed Martin, MMC and Gibbs & Cox.
Construction began in 2009.
The first Lockheed Martin/Marinette Marine LCS (USS Freedom), which was completed in 2008, will be deployed to Singapore in 2013.
Marinette Marine crews are making the final preparations on Fort Worth before it leaves next week.
"The LCS 3, the Fort Worth, is really a very good example of what the ship builders in Marinette and really workers of Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan can do," said Marinette Marine Vice President of Program Management Jim LaCosse.
After some last minute touches, the ship will be ready to set sail in a few days.
The vessel will travel to Galveston, Texas then eventually to San Diego, California.
The ship's commander says he's ready to get behind the controls.
"It's extremely important, we have an aging fleet," explained Commanding Officer Randy Blankenship. "We are single focused in our mission. We do anti-surface warfare as well as submarine as well as counter measure opportunities as well."
This is the second LCS to set sail from Marinette Marine, and it won't be the last to come out of the shipyard.
Currently, Marinette Marine has a Navy contract for ten more.
Milwaukee, the first ship under the contract, is currently in production.
It's scheduled for completion in 2014.
In total, the shipyard is expected to employ 2,100 people through the contract.
"The LCS program has been a long project for Marinette Marine," LaCosse said. "Our desire was to bring a large military program to this shipyard for stability and jobs to the community, so naturally the LCS is really important to us."
Fort Worth will leave port here in Marinette bright and early Monday morning.
After a few stops along the way, it's expected to arrive down in Texas a few days before its commissioning, which is on September 22nd.
This week, a Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill for the next round of littoral combat ships in the contract to be built.
It's unclear when the Senate will vote on the bill.
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