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Star Telegram: The USS Fort Worth has finally arrived

September 20, 2012
Article

Editorial

You have to hand it to U.S. Rep. Kay Granger: She latched onto the idea of getting a Navy ship named after Fort Worth and never let go.

On Saturday, Granger is expected to be in Galveston along with a herd of local residents for the official ceremony changing the name of a vessel heretofore known as LCS 3, which she christened almost two years ago at a Wisconsin shipyard, to the long-sought USS Fort Worth.

It will be a proud moment for Granger, for the local commissioning committee that has planned the event, and for Fort Worth.

That pride will continue as long as the ship serves in our nation's defense -- suffice it to say, a long, long time.

Granger first floated the idea of getting a Navy ship named for Fort Worth a decade ago, but she formally launched the idea in April 2006.

She gathered a team of community leaders behind her and began to push.

It helped that former Navy Secretary Gordon England, a Fort Worth resident, was for the idea. It also helped when England was promoted to deputy defense secretary.

The name announcement finally came from then-Navy Secretary Donald Winter in March 2009.

And a fine ship she is. The USS Fort Worth is the Navy's third littoral combat ship, conceived after 9-11 as "a high-speed, agile, shallow-draft surface combatant" designed for action on inshore coastal waters and narrow straits.

It can be configured for specific missions calling for mine countermeasures, surface warfare or anti-submarine warfare.

Nine more littoral combat ships are under construction, eight of them to be named after U.S. cities (Coronado, Milwaukee, Jackson, Detroit, Montgomery, Little Rock, Sioux City and Omaha).

One will be named for former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Granger and the many people who helped her secure this honor for Fort Worth are to be commended and congratulated.