A keel laying ceremony acknowledges the beginning of a ship’s building by way of the union of a ship’s modular parts and the welding, or “authentication,” of an honoree’s initials right into a ceremonial keel plate that turns into a part of the ship. Available to authenticate the keel was ship sponsor Pegan Frank, partner to Nisqually Tribal Council Chairman William Frank III, son of the late Billy Frank Jr.
Billy Frank Jr. was a Nisqually tribal member and an iconic Native American environmental chief and treaty rights activist. After serving within the U.S. Marine Corps throughout the Korean Warfare, Frank chaired the Northwest Indian Fisheries Fee for over 30 years, receiving the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. President Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
“The long run Billy Frank Jr.’s keel laying marks the start of the development journey for this ship,” stated John Lighthammer, program supervisor, Auxiliary and Particular Mission Shipbuilding Program Workplace. “It’s an honor to be joined by members of the Nisqually Tribe and we sit up for the partnership as we spotlight their heritage.”
The Navajo class is a multi-mission, frequent hull platform that may deploy to assist a spread of missions equivalent to towing, rescue, salvage, humanitarian help, oil spill response and wide-area search and surveillance. The vessels will exchange the present Powhatan-class T-ATF fleet ocean tugs and Safeguard-class T-ARS rescue and salvage ships in service with the U.S. Army Sealift Command.
Austal USA can be in manufacturing of future USNS Solomon Atkinson (T-ATS 12) with an extra three extra T-ATS- ships beneath contract.
As one of many Protection Division’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is chargeable for executing the event and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, particular mission and assist ships, and boats and craft.