It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since we commissioned our namesake naval littoral combat ship, the USS Fort Worth! 

Recently, I joined sailors who traveled to Fort Worth from the ship’s home port in San Diego to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the commissioning.

Captain Jeremiah Petersen, CMDCS Frank Wilson, ITC Brennan Kane, HT1 Gregory Puga, STG1 Richard Service, and BM3 Armonni Whittiker brought me up to speed on their recent experiences and the important role the USS Fort Worth has been playing around the globe. 

On behalf of our great city and the nation, I thanked the sailors for their service and shared the special story behind having a naval ship named after Fort Worth.  

As many of you know, the process began during my days as mayor - I felt strongly that our city deserved the prestigious honor of a namesake ship for its long history of military support, dating back to Fort Worth’s founding in 1849 as an Army outpost that overlooked the Trinity River. 

After becoming a member of Congress, I had the opportunity to move our years-long effort forward by working closely with my friend and the former Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England.  He was a great partner in the process since he knew firsthand our city’s rich history of supporting the armed forces, having led then General Dynamics Fort Worth Aircraft Company now known as Lockheed. 

From the beginning, our strategy had many levels of involvement, and we knew that if we were to have a national security asset named after our city, it had to be a community effort.

The dedication of our community to bring the project to fruition was of no surprise to me, as Fort Worth has always shown a strong tradition of service and patriotism.  While I advocated on the national level through my position on the House Appropriations Committee, the great people in the 12th District and all around the state applied pressure and encouragement from many different directions. 

I knew our grassroots efforts were destined for success when Fort Worth’s school children began sending then Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter drawings of what they envisioned the mighty ship would look like.  Who could ignore that genuine optimism?

I won’t forget the day when Secretary Winter called to tell me that our hard work had paid off and that the USS Fort Worth would finally become a reality.  

The ship was officially commissioned in 2012, and I was honored to be named the sponsor of the impressive vessel. 

In the ten years since her commissioning, the USS Fort Worth has sailed the Pacific and deployed to, among other locations, the South China Sea, providing assistance on important operations and reinforcements for our regional allies.  

I am so proud of her service and the dedication of her sailors to our nation.  The Fort Worth is an incredible ship, but she is nothing without the men and women who serve onboard. They are truly a testament to her coat of arms which bears the Texas flag, a Longhorn, and the Fort Worth motto of “Grit and Tenacity.”  

Texans and all Americans are grateful for the meaningful work the brave sailors of the USS Fort Worth do around the world to keep our country safe!

Happy 10th Anniversary to the USS Fort Worth!