Before 2009, Fort Worth never had a Navy ship to call her own. That all changed that March, with the Navy’s announcement to honor our city— a city built on our national defense— with our own namesake ship: a Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship named the USS Fort Worth.
The Navy’s historic decision came after years of hard work and advocacy: in 2006, I sent a letter to the Navy requesting that the third-ever Littoral Combat Ship be named after Fort Worth, marking the start of a three-year effort that united our city. I was fortunate to work together with my friend and the former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, who graciously helped campaign for our cause. As the former President of the General Dynamics Fort Worth Aircraft Company (later Lockheed), he knew firsthand our city’s rich history of supporting the armed forces.
Throughout the effort to secure a ship for our city, I was aware of a new class of warships, called Littoral Combat Ships, being prepared for the Navy, and of their reputation as fast, maneuverable warships ideal for shallow water. In 2012, the USS Fort Worth was officially commissioned, and I was honored to be named the sponsor of our city’s impressive vessel, then the newest produced in the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program. At 388 feet long, the USS Fort Worth is smaller and stealthier than most warships, making her especially effective in her missions.
Since her commissioning, the USS Fort Worth has embodied the steadfast, pioneering spirit of our city around the world. She has sailed the Pacific in important operations from her home port in San Diego, California, her coat of arms bearing the Texas flag, a longhorn, and her motto, “Grit and Tenacity."
Although the USS Fort Worth docks at Naval Base San Diego when not at sea, our city’s ship enjoys plenty of support here at home. The non-profit group the USS Fort Worth Support Committee, led in part by Ms. Sam Petty as its Executive Director, works to champion the achievements of our city’s ship and her crew, raise awareness of her naval service, and maintain strong ties of friendship, heritage, and the spirit of Forth Worth throughout the life of her service. To learn more about the USS Fort Worth Support Committee, visit the organization’s website at www.ussfortworth.org.
Just recently, the USS Fort Worth conducted a change of command ceremony, and we bid farewell to the outgoing Commander, Colin Corridan, who completed a highly successful two-year command of our ship and led missions across the Pacific. As we wish Colin and his family the best of luck, we also hail the incoming Commander, Jeremiah Petersen. We are thrilled to have Jeremiah join our Fort Worth family and command our city’s ship.
It has been my honor to sponsor and support the USS Fort Worth since she was first commissioned eight years ago. Our ship, her crew, our community, and the Support Committee stand ready to defend our American way of life, and I am proud to lend my full support and dedication.
Member of Congress