The US Navy commissioned USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD28) on July 30th 2022 in Florida. LPD 28 will be the 12th ship of the San Antonio class Amphibious Dock ship.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Venice of America. Beautiful Fort Lauderdale Florida and the commissioning of the city’s namesake ship. The USS Fort Lauderdale. I’m Commander Robert Foster, the ship’s executive officer. It is my privilege to be your master of ceremonies. Today we’re here today to commission the 12th san Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship and the first ship to proudly bear the name Fort Lauderdale. Our ceremony today is a time honored tradition that began with the commissioning of our first warship captured British Schooner, the Margarita in 1775. Since then, thousands of ships have undergone the transformation from silent halls to fully alive warships are commissioning crew hereafter known as plant owners are information among you and ready to bring the ship alive. In just a few moments the ship Navy Band Southeast will render honors to the honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Will the guests please rise and remain standing for the arrival of our official party honors and the presentation of colors and the national anthem. Ladies and gentlemen, our official party in our audience are maids of honor, MS charlotte burger, Miss molly messing and Miss Catherine messing. On the Diaz Lieutenant William Daniel, Junior chaplain Corps, United States Navy Commander, Christopher Matassa, United States Navy LPD 17 Class Program managers. Representative supervisor of shipbuilding gulf coast. Captain Cedric McNeil, United States Navy amphibious warfare Program Manager, MS Linell Sasser are long glass presenter. MS Patricia du Mont chairperson. USS Fort Lauderdale commissioning committee. MS Kari Wilkinson. President Ingalls shipbuilding, Rear admiral Thomas J. Anderson, United States Navy program Executive officer ships. The honorable Lamar fisher. Vice Mayor Broward county Florida. The Honorable Dean Trantalis. Mayor City of Fort Lauderdale Florida. Admiral Daryl Caudle, United States Navy Commander, U. S. Fleet Forces Command Commander, U. S. Naval Forces, Northern Command Commander, U. S. Naval Forces, Strategic Command General eric M. Smith, United States Marine Corps, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, The Honorable Carlos del Toro, the 78th Secretary of the Navy. Ladies and gentlemen, our ship’s sponsor, the honorable MEREDITH burger, escorted today by Command Master Chief James Magee, United States Navy USS Fort Lauderdale. Command Master Chief, ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz, United States Representative State of Florida 23rd district escorted today by Captain James Corsi MO, United States Navy USS Fort Lauderdale Commanding Officer. Ladies and gentlemen, honors to the honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz platform and salute platform, ready to advance the colors, platform and salute, retire the colors platform, ready to ladies and gentlemen, chaplain Daniel will now deliver the invocation. Good morning. Let us pray Holy Father, we have arrived this week in ways of care and concern, obligation and experience from various homelands and odysseys that are now crashing upon this one vessel of American diplomacy and forged. Still we have paused now to honor you though our times and affairs and concerns churn and change in the stormy basin of human nature. You are ever faithful and true graciously guiding and providing for those who love and follow you. And so holy Father, we specifically thank you for bringing together the many hands that have skillfully crafted and dutifully supported this gorgeous gray lady Road in glory. All flowing from the vision of the late senior chief chuck black. Now please road captain, course Imo Commander Foster and command master Chief McGee, our chief’s mess and wardroom in your truth and wisdom as neither resources nor right safeguard the human heart from temptation or evil. Please bond us all together as one Navy Marine Corps and family team for lives of service and mission that please you bless our homeland and bring honor to our families as together we fight under the name of USS Fort Lauderdale. Amen. Thank you chaplain Daniel. We would like to thank elder Carolyn Thompson and the ceremonial dances of the Chickasaw nation for the blessing of the ship and traditional stomp dance as well as the Navy and Southeast and the Fort Lauderdale Squadron, Sea Cadet Color Guard for their support this morning. Additionally, we wish to thank and acknowledge the support of Port Everglades and the Broward County Sheriff’s office. Will the guests please be seated Ship’s company parade rest ladies and gentlemen, the Honorable Dean Trantalis. Good morning everybody welcome to Fort Lauderdale. Thank you all for being here today. My name is Dean Trantalis and very honored to be the mayor of the city at this very, very historic occasion of the commissioning of the USS Fort Lauderdale beautiful ship. Right, so distinguished guests. Secretary del Rio. Secretary burger, Captain James Core Asimo, the entire crew of the ship, Debbie Wasserman Schultz are wonderful congresswoman. Vice Mayor Lamar Fisher. I thank you all for being here this morning and welcoming the beginning of this new journey on behalf of our great city is my privilege to welcome us s Fort Lauderdale here today, after six years, it was first announced that the Navy’s newest amphibious transport dock would be named after our city. The USS Fort Lauderdale is now ready to serve our nation. This ceremony is a momentous occasion, not just for the military but for the almost 200,000 people who call Fort Lauderdale their home and this is the first time the city’s namesake is being designated for service. But Fort Lauderdale is no stranger to the demands of maintaining our freedoms. A legacy of service to America can be traced to the beginning of our city. Fort Lauderdale is named after U. S. Army Major William Lauderdale from the namesake forts built in the area in the 19 and excuse me in the 18 thirties again during world war two, Fort Lauderdale became a major site of operations for the Navy and the Coast Guard. A base was established here at Port Everglades to support the Guard and naval air station. Fort Lauderdale was built to train pilots, radar operators where Fort Lauderdale executive airport now stands just up the road now, following the four years of unyielding construction in months of rigorous testing and trials. The US says Fort Lauderdale will roar into life, beginning a new chapter in our city and the Navy’s history. It has taken the time and dedication of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals to bring us to this moment. Well, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the work of the Navy League of Broward County and the United States. The Lake Community leader and Navy veteran Charles chuck black. The US has Fort Lauderdale commissioning committee, shipbuilders Huntington’s Ingalls, former Mayor, Jack Seiler for all the work you did in bringing this together and the former Secretary of the Navy, Ray Davis, Captain Core, Asimo, as you and your crew embark on your mission guided by the motto. Together we fight. I know that the enduring American spirit, the same everlasting force that has built and defended this country will lead you to victory in these unsettled times around the globe. This imperative cannot be understated. As American freedoms and its peoples must remain vigilant, both at home and as a beacon to others who seek to emulate us through the merits of your service, the officers and crew of the USS. Fort Lauderdale will operate this cutting edge vessel with the level of expertise required to overcome any challenge you are called to meet. So on this special day, I welcome the USS Fort Lauderdale to the fleet and I wish you all who sail her fair winds and friendly seas. May God bless our servicemen and women. The city of Fort Lauderdale and its people, its leaders, its institutions and indeed may God bless America, thank you everybody. Thank you, Mayor Tantalus. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Kari Wilkinson, Good morning! What a gorgeous day to do something like this. So I will be brief. I stand here this morning. A grateful shipbuilder with the privilege of representing the more than 11,300 single shipbuilders in Pascagoula Mississippi. What an honor it is to be here today. Invited to the commissioning of the Fort Lauderdale, LPD 28. I must also express what an honor it is to be keeping such company here today. It is humbling to be standing on this platform to each of you, to everyone in the audience and to all of our resilient and steadfast Fort Lauderdale sailors and marines. Thank you for having us here today as shipbuilders. We are a community of diverse, passionate and tenacious people with sincere purpose and an important mission to build great ships for our nation and for those who dedicate their lives to protect our freedoms. Shipbuilding is a people, business and our collective participation here today reinforces the importance of the connection we share with one another in this way of life. That connection is important and I am beyond proud to be standing in front of this ship to represent and speak on behalf of those who built her People from every part of this country, bring their best selves to work each and every day to make a ship like this become a reality not just the shipbuilders at angles, but all of our suppliers and industry and customer partners. Everyone on this team leverages essential and unique abilities to design, estimate, engineer plan, procure fit, weld install, test and ultimately deliver a ship that is so much more than just a product. And just like the extended shipbuilding family that built her, her crew has come from all corners of our country to provide their very best to the Navy and Marine Corps in order to protect and preserve our ideals and freedoms, it is a privilege to have been on this journey thus far and to provide this ship the focus of our professional and oftentimes very personal lives for the past several years, More than 10,000 of our ingles shipbuilders touched this ship over the course of her life to this point cutting and shaping thousands of raw steel plates, pulling and connecting millions of feet of cable and installing hundreds and thousands of feet of pipe And with nearly a million and a half discrete parts and pieces of equipment provided by more than 500 suppliers across this great nation. I can say firsthand that this industry is indeed a partnership even before we forge our most important partnerships with the crew that will ultimately call her home. I believe I speak for our entire network. When I say how proud we are as a community as we see this ship come to life under the command and care of America’s best and brightest knowing we have served you and will continue to do so Together we fight. We believe this ship is destined for greatness and your angle shipbuilders are proud to be a part of this legacy with you, a very special to you for thanks for welcoming us here today as I offered at our christening not so very long ago. A sincere and open outstretched hand to the crew of the soon to be USS Fort Lauderdale. We are here to support you, your families and your mission. We thank you for your service, your sacrifice and your steadfast commitment to our nation. Thank you. Thank you Miss Wilkinson. Ladies and gentlemen, general general eric smith. Hey, good morning. It is. It is a genuinely good day. I’m supposed to buy protocol. Call out each of the individuals up here on stage and I’m gonna skip with that. That’s a little bit of dicey proposition because one of them is my boss’s boss, but he’s a deck plate sailor and I think he’s gonna let me get away with that this morning because there’s only, there’s only two V. I. P. S here that I’d like to talk about. One is the people of Fort Lauderdale and two is the crew of this magnificent warship. A lot of us don’t have homes anymore. We’ve been in this business for 20 or 30 or 35 years. We haven’t been home. So in a place like Fort Lauderdale welcomes you and lets it be your home, that means something to us for those 1819, 20 year old sailors and marines at your seat behind you. That’ll man this vessel and bring her to life. It is greatly appreciated. You can smell it as soon as you walk into Fort Lauderdale that it’s a welcoming place. So today there’s really just two kinds of people. There’s people from Fort Lauderdale and people who wish they were in Fort Lauderdale. There’s actually a subset of that second category, which is people who are going to just say they’re from Fort Lauderdale and I’m part of that today. But you don’t hold that against me. The second piece, The second V. I. P. Is this magnificent crew. The vessel is fantastic, but the crew is what brings it to life. So from Captain Q. Down to command master Chief McGee to the most junior marine and sailor, they’re owed our thanks because we don’t pay them a lot. We work them hard and they’re willing to go out and defend our constitution and defend your way of life and lay their lives down for you and they won’t blink an eye by doing it. They come from every corner of this country and they’re the best that we have and they are truly phenomenal. So when we talk about this crew and talk about this ship, I get to do the marine part very briefly. There’s a saying that says nobody likes to fight, but somebody has to know how that’s actually not our case for marines. We are ready to fight. And together we fight with this ship and when it’s fully ready to go, you’ll see attack helicopters, you’ll see assault support helicopters, You’ll see landing craft air cushion, You’ll see landing craft, utility, high mobility artillery, rocket systems. You’ll see intelligence operators, you’ll see the ability to do everything that this ship needs to do. It is the swiss army knife of the fleet. It’s highly sought after. It is a national strategic asset that will be on the water for 40 years. It’s a Navy and Marine Corps asset, but it’s a national asset And you’re getting every bit of your money’s worth out of this vessel for the next 40 years. And I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I’ve seen this ship or one that looks just like her whose strike lethal blows our adversaries in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’ve seen a ship just like this one evacuate Americans out of Liberia and Albania and Lebanon and I’ve seen it bring aid to our allies in the Philippines Bangladesh and Haiti, this is the swiss army knife, we need it. Lieutenant General David Bell and Commander Marine Forces South said in a recent christening. We fight so hard for these ships because we have to fight from these ships. And this is a warship and that makes war less likely for us as Americans. So to the people of Fort Lauderdale and to this magnificent crew of sailors and marines. Thanks for what you do. The birthdays. You’ll miss the birth, that you’ll miss the anniversaries you’ll miss on our behalf. We are grateful. Thank you. All simplified Ellis. Thank you. General smith. Ladies and gentlemen. The honorable caller Stelter. Good morning Fort Lauderdale. Before I begin my official speech, five minutes standing in there about ready to begin the ceremony, I turned to the chaps. I said, chaps, We got five minutes. Can you please play pray for a breeze and some shade. And I want to thank the chaps for coming through. And the Good Lord too. What a great day for our United States, Navy and Marine Court. What a great day for the great city and people of Fort Lauderdale. General smith at McConnell. General Richardson, thank you for honoring us with your presence here today. I’d like to take a very brief moment to introduce someone who’s very special to us. Very special to the United States Ambassador Macaron to would you please stand thank you for being with us here today and more so for your leadership. During these very trying times for your nation, Ukraine. Our entire country. Our entire country along with all the free and democratic nations around the world. Stand with you and Ukraine. Thank you madam. Ambassador Assistant Secretary Berger. Thank you for serving a sponsor for this great vital warship. It’s indeed an honor to serve with you in the pentagon as the acting undersecretary as the assistant secretary and now a sponsor of this great ship as well too, congressman Schultz, Mayor Trantalis and all the leaders here today. Thank you for welcoming us to this beautiful and historic city. As was said before during World War two, many of the pilots who won the skies over both Europe and the pacific trained right here as was said by the mayor and it was a marine from fort Lauderdale. Second Lieutenant William Willis, who earned the navy cross for his valor and his leadership in the amphibious assault on the pacific island of Peleliu. I just returned yesterday from touring the into pacific for the legacy of those World War two heroes continues in the peace and prosperity of that vast region. I had the honor of meeting with our allies and our partners in Singapore Thailand and the Philippines. They remember clearly how our sailors, our marines fought to help bring freedom to the indo pacific and they understand the need to defend that freedom today in the face of rising aggression from authoritarian states like china and Russia. We must stand with our allies and partners to defend the sea lanes and the shorelines with a credible and versatile allied force. During my trip, I joined leaders from across the pacific at the kickoff of the rim of the pacific 20 to the world’s largest international maritime exercise right now, over 25,000 personnel on 38 ships, three submarines from 26 nations continue working together to sharpen the edge and strengthen our combined integrated deterrents that the common alluded to. It was inspiring to see firsthand the level of cooperation and skill exhibited across our allied and partner force in all of my interactions with our allies and partners. It was clear how much they valued the agility, persistence versatility of our amphibious ships. I can assure you that the performance of the Mount Whitney the curse. It’s the Gunston hall and the Baltic operating with our allies as one force spoke louder than ever regarding our commitment to NATO and our partner nations in Europe and elsewhere our amphibious platforms. These ships indeed send a strong message to our friends and our potential adversaries that we are prepared to always maintain the peace and respond with force from the sea when needed. As general smith detailed the speed, the lethality and capabilities of LPD s like Fort Lauderdale increase our capability to operate in any contested or disastrous stricken environment Now to the sailors and marines who will sell overboard. The Fort Lauderdale. Thank you and your families in advance for the service that you will fulfill and sacrifices that you will endure. And I’d like to ask all the family members of this crew to please stand up and be recognized the moment that we bring this amphibious transport dock to life. You will strengthen the integrated deterrence capability of our entire joint force. Revolutionary War. Captain john Paul jones once said I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sell fast for I intend to go in harm’s way. Today’s marines and sailors share that same intention. They are ready and willing to go in harm’s way whenever their nation calls. It is our collective duty to ensure that they have the most agile ready capabilities possible. And that is why I am so grateful to every member of the team that brought us here today from the shipbuilders to the plank owners, to our partners in Congress and most importantly to you, the American people for supporting our sailors, our marines, our Department of the Navy, our Department of Defense. We cannot thank you enough. The American people for the support that you provide our military. Thank you. And I’m deeply thankful that one of our greatest congressional leaders is here today as chair of the house appropriations subcommittee on Military construction and veterans affairs. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of our military personnel, our veterans and their families and I have seen it personally throughout her career. She has fought for justice, equality and opportunity for all Americans. She has been a staunch advocate for government reform, environmental responsibility and global leadership on climate change and it was her partnership with the late senior chief chuck black that helped decide the selection of Fort Lauderdale as the namesake of this ship. And thank you Secretary Mavis for that decision. So it is now my pleasure to introduce representative of Florida’s 23rd congressional district congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for that, very meaningful and kind introduction and welcome to Fort Lauderdale in front of the USS Fort Lauderdale. This is such an incredibly momentous occasion for our community. Um I think if you look around at the folks who helped make sure that we could reach this day, it is impossible to wipe the smiles off of the faces of the folks who dreamt of this day, who fought for this day and who helped make this really incredible honor for our community, the ultimate, the ultimate possibility. And and we’re just absolutely thrilled. I’m I’m thrilled to be able to be here today as your principal speaker. Um I’m trying to wrap my mind around that, you know, even in a personal aside, um it’s just an honor to stand with those and stand up for those who defend our nation because today we officially commissioned the USS Fort Lauderdale, the navy’s newest san Antonio class ship. It is an exciting day for the crew and their families who have such a critical job to do in protecting our nation. The U. S. S. Fort Lauderdale is a reminder of the special relationship between the sailors and marines who will work hand in hand on board this ship to complete thousands of missions to come and commander and to our sailors and marines that are going to make sure that you represent our community each and every day proudly. We are so thankful. That is why the ship’s motto. Together we fight is so fitting. I’m proud of Fort Lauderdale’s rich naval history and I will ask you all to indulge me for a few minutes while I share some additional highlights. Fort Lauderdale’s ties to the U. S. Navy dates back to the early 18 thirties, the first Navy troops in Florida reinforced Major William Lauderdale’s army troops who were stationed along the north bank of the new river where they constructed the first Fort Lauderdale. The city of Fort Lauderdale also became an important naval training center during World War Two. Radar gunnery and parachuting schools operated at the naval air station Fort Lauderdale. That site today serves as Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport at Danger Beach. Although I hear the T. S. A. Lines were a bit shorter back then. In addition. In addition with I read it, I don’t necessarily write it. In addition West Prospect Airfield known today as Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport was an important training facility for naval aviators, including former President George H. W. Bush naming this ship to Fort Lauderdale not only recognizes the city’s longtime commitment to the navy and its distinguished role in naval history, but it also honors the thousands of retired Navy sailors who call Fort Lauderdale and our surrounding areas home as your representative in Washington. I will continue to use my voice and my vote to ensure that you, your families and all military members have the tools and resources you need to successfully do your job protecting and defending our nation. And let me just give an important shout out to Secretary MEREDITH Berger, who I have known since before. She was an adult and who I am so proud is the ship’s sponsor and does a remarkable job even when she’s testifying in front of my subcommittee and we don’t necessarily agree, but that only happens occasionally. So mazel tov to you. I am so proud of you and I know that your family is beaming here in the front row and proud as well. You see my subcommittee is responsible for funding the infrastructure at our basis and the entire budget for the V. A. System as well as our military cemeteries nationwide worldwide and our battle monuments. It’s the only subcommittee in the Congress that makes policy and provides funding For the entire life cycle of an individual servants from their time in the military to when they leave to join the ranks of our nation’s veterans. In fact, we just passed a partial budget out of the house for fiscal year 2023 which includes the funding for this critical subcommittee, We steer $15.1 billion $200 million dollars to contamination cleanup at old installations. The quality of life of our servicemen and women is our top priority. We increased funding for NATO security and support the infrastructure necessary for wartime peace and deterrence operations. It is vital that we bolster training requirements to confront Russia’s growing aggression and truly protect our European allies. Ambassador. It really is an honor to have you join us today in our community and our country stands with the people of Ukraine. Thank you so much for honoring us with your presence today critically. Our bill will improve the quality of life on military installations for service members and their families and it honors their service by making sure that after leaving the military, our veterans receive the care and support they have earned. Now it’s my honor. I hope to make three brief presentations to honor the city of Fort Lauderdale and the ship named after it. I present Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis with this flag which I had flown over the United States capitol in honor of this special occasion. But wait, there’s more to the women and men of the USS Fort Lauderdale and out of your service on this magnificent vessel and for your service to our nation. I present this flag flown over the United States capitol in honor in honor of the special occasion to Commander James Corey Como. I think they want us to probably okay. I think I might need to go faster. Today’s commissioning ceremony would not have been possible without the years long effort of chuck black after serving in the Navy for 20 years, chuck made Fort Lauderdale his home in March 2016 the U. S Navy announced it would name a ship after the city and tragically we lost chuck that July in honor of the work he did to make this happen and everything that our community fought so hard to achieve. To accomplish this day. I’d like to present this flag flown over the United States capitol to chuck’s wife, Lyn L. Sasser, Thank you for that indulgence. I know my support for the military is unwavering and I am so honored and proud to be a part of this special moment where we will add another chapter to the unique history tradition, Friendship and respect that we have established with the Navy and the community of Fort Lauderdale. I will always stand by all our service members and veterans and honor those who continue to serve as well as the memories of our fallen and to the commander and the remarkable crew of the USS Fort Lauderdale. I pledge to you that I will stand with you each and every day as together we fight. Thank you so much and congratulations to our community and to the United States Navy. How about another round of applause for the chaplain for that little Sprinkle Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my distinct honor as the Secretary of the Navy. And on behalf of the President of the United States, I hereby place the United States ship Fort Lauderdale into commission. May God bless and guide this mighty worship and all the brave women and men who shall sail in her captain. Congratulations! It was a well-placed a little bit of rain shower to cool us off. Thank you again. Thank you, Secretary Del Toro for placing us in the Commission executive officer hoist the colors in the commission pennant, aye, aye, sir. Ship’s company attention. The Commission pin it in professional national navies began to take form late in the 17th century. All ships at that time were sailing ships and it was often difficult to tell a naval ship from a merchant mint. Navies began to adopt long, narrow pennants to be flown by their ships at the main mast head to distinguish themselves from merchant ships. Commission pennant will fly continuously until the ship is decommissioned. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise, I direct your attention to the ship’s mast as we hoist the colors and Commission pennant quartermaster hoist the colors and commission captain. The colors and commissions are flying proudly over us, esport Lauderdale. Very well, ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. I will now read my orders from commander. Naval personnel command to Captain James for CMO, United States Navy subject. Cooper’s orders number 9580 of one April 2020. When directed by reporting senior detached from present duty and report to pre commissioning unit Fort Lauderdale. As commanding officer. Upon commissioning of USS Fort Lauderdale report for duty as commanding officer. Admiral Coddle, United States Ship Fort Lauderdale is in commission and I am in command. Executive officer set the watch II, sir. Oh ships comedy at ease. Ship’s company attention Video after the watch set the 1st watch. Yeah, the office of the deck is the commanding officers. Direct representative and while on watch is responsible for the safe operation of the ship and crew. The long glasses, the traditional symbol of an officer of the decks authority and a ship of the line. We are honored to have MS Linell Sasser with us today, Lynn’s late husband, United States Navy senior Chief retired Charles chuck black was a driving force in the naming of the USS Fort Lauderdale. She will pass the long glass door. First officer of the deck to the commander, Christal McFadden from Chicago Illinois. Petty officer watches. Cryptologic technician. First class Jessica Kalinowski from Belton Texas. The messenger of the watches, Hospital Corpsman. Second class Jason chung from Brooklyn, new York and the moses made of the watch is versus mate. Third class Ashley Wallace from san Jose California. Set the watch on deck section one set very well. Captain. The watch is set very well. The spirit of the U. S. Navy warship is the embodiment of her sponsor. Our sponsor, the honorable MEREDITH burger has imbued this this ship with a sense of service and grace. She’s a steadfast champion of our navy and this ship and crew secretary burger christened the ship in Pascagoula Mississippi on august 21st 2021 madam. Secretary I would be honored if you would give the order to man our ship and bring her to life together. We fight our ship’s motto, a forcing function. A battle cry. A commitment. Whenever we choose to fight, we’re making a commitment, it’s taking a side taking a stance and it takes everything. You’ve got the USS Fort Lauderdale started with a fight one of the best kinds. The good fight. Senior chief chuck black. This mighty band of warriors. They came together and they steadily consistently advocated for a ship name for this great city. As he mounted his fight, he found an ally in Secretary Mavis. That’s the thing about the good fight when you’re doing the right thing, you get the attention and support of the right people and luckily for me. Secretary Mavis thought that a member of his staff from Fort Lauderdale just might be able to do this fine ship justice as its sponsor. I’ll tell you, it is one of the greatest honors for this hometown girl and I’ve got a healthy amount of fighting me. It is said as the captain mentioned that the character and spirit of the ship’s sponsor enriches guides, protects the ship and her crew and Fort Lauderdale were scrappy. Another honor of my life is to get to serve in the Department of the Navy. First Undersecretary Mavis, now Undersecretary Del Toro and alongside General smith and Admiral Coddle and every person that you see here in uniform today and wherever you see them each day, we and that’s the people up here behind me. Whether they’re in uniform or not. We fight for our sailors and marines who fight for us. We fight to keep our Navy and Marine Corps the best fighting force the world has ever known. We fight to give our war fighters every advantage and every single person is part of this site. You’re part of this fight Together. We fight to enhance quality of life because we value our people together, We fight climate change because we value our future. Together, we fight for equality and inclusivity because we value our differences. They make us stronger and when we include we’re whole and together we fight to remove barriers enable our warfighters, our marines and our sailors and maintain that superiority so that your Marine Corps and your Navy can fight to defend these values and that’s what the Fort Lauderdale will do. Your sailors and marines fight the good fight wherever that fight may bring them. Now, one of my favorite parts of a commissioning ceremony is when the ship comes to life, I’ll give the order and it will happen right before your eyes. It’s magic. Watch as the sailors and marines run aboard the lifeblood of the ship, listen to their footsteps and their medals clink against their chest. The heartbeat of the ship Here the technology hum were and sound the eyes ears, the voice of the ship and see the decks illuminate and the flags fly proudly, the face of the ship and I can think of no better officer to be at the home than Captain Carlesimo. I know that the sailors and marines aboard the USS Fort Lauderdale are in your most capable hands. Fort Lauderdale boasts a talented and determined crew and under your leadership you’ve formed a team and together we have cultivated a culture of if my spirit makes them scrappy, your leadership makes them strong And to the crew, every time you have set a high bar and you’ve exceeded it, keep knocking down targets and banking winds. I’m so proud to be part of you. So to the officers and crew of the mighty Fort Lauderdale together next to the people of Fort Lauderdale and our love Florida join in with the crew together. Hi and finally everybody together. Officers and crew of the USS Fort Lauderdale man our ship and bring her to life. Ladies and gentlemen, the crew of USS Fort Lauderdale salutes you approach. We’re proud to serve in America’s Navy and Marine Corps. Fort Lauderdale. Ready to, will the guest please be seated. Captain USS Fort Lauderdale is manned and ready very well follow us esport Lauderdale’s manned and ready and reports for duty and like this ship. Yes sir. Together we fight. Secretary Del Toro request permission to break your flag sir. Executive Officer. Break the flag of the Secretary of the Navy, aye, aye, sir. Quartermaster. Break the flag of the Secretary of the Navy. Captain, the flag of the Secretary of the Navy is proudly flying over us, esport Lauderdale. Very well, Ladies and gentlemen, Captain James, Corsino, United States Navy Commanding Officer USS Fort Lauderdale. Who? Yeah, Fort Lauderdale chips, company, parade rest. Good morning everyone and thank you for being here. I’m certain that I’m going to miss some folks here today that should be recognized for the Lieutenant’s. But first I’m going to thank my family for being here today. My wonderful wife, Leanne, my son James, my daughter, man and my brothers and sisters for showing up here today. Apparently when you pay for people to come down, they’ll do it. But thank you for showing up here today and for those of you that are out watching virtually and couldn’t make it. Thank you. I cannot do what I do without all of you and all of your support. Secretary Del Toro. Secretary burger, admirals, generals, members of Congress, local official community leaders and our ship building leadership from Huntington’s Ingalls. Thank you for being here today and thank you for making this day of reality. And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Pat Tillman for heading up our commissioning committee to our namesake city of Fort Lauderdale. Thank you for having us here. We are blessed to have so many honored guests and friends. We truly are forever bonded to all of you for we cannot be as good as we are without the support we’re receiving from our friends and family here in our great city today is what we call a great Navy day. Today we introduce a new ship, your ship, the mighty United States ship Fort Lauderdale into the fleet. And I know this did not happen by accident. There were many people working behind the scenes to make USS Fort Lauderdale reality many of you are here today and unfortunately some have moved on from this world but their impact is with us still, it’s through the hard work. The members of the community like retired senior chief chuck black who dedicated years of planning effort to see a ship named Fort Lauderdale. His efforts were the catalyst that turned an idea into reality. Unfortunately chuck is no longer with us, but his anchors will sail with us forever as they were placed in the mass stepping box which is permanently mounted on board. His legacy will live with the ship for eternity. Ah! What a beautiful ship she is ready for action And it is vitally important that we always are. As we look around the globe, there is much going on in the world right now that screams while navies are vital importance and having the best of the best is paramount. And that is what we have here today. When we talk about how important navies are one only need to look at the war in the Ukraine, multiple ships out of action on both sides and commercial shipping disrupted significantly. It bears remembering that with more than 90% of all trade occurring over the water is critically important that we maintain the sea lanes of communication open and free from encumbrances And our dependency on the sea continues to grow. In fact, over the past 25 years, global waterways have become more congested. Maritime traffic has increased by a magnitude of four over that time period. Additionally, we rely on the sea to carry nearly all of our digital information via transoceanic cables. I cannot overstate the importance of maintaining a strong naval presence and as I said, I know it doesn’t happen by accident, but it happens instead through the hard work of everyone here to ensure our nation has what it needs to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in the harshest environment on earth. The sea that’s right. There are no foxholes that c to slide into. There are no trenches and fortified defenses are comprised of the ships that you’re sailing with. You fight and you win or you swim. We must be ready Now more than ever as we look to new challenges that are on the horizon, we’re competing in a world of great powers and there is much at stake for the free world, china and Russia are the two biggest countries that seek to thwart the free world and are directly challenged us across the globe. But rest assured we will not allow those challenges to go unchecked. For we in the surface forces are in the business of being prepared to fight and win at sea. For it is the freedom of the sea that plays a critical role in global security, stability and prosperity. And the United States will continue to challenge excessive maritime claims around the world regardless of the identity of the claimant. And we will support lawful uses of the sea to all nations. That is what we have done since the inception of our great nation and what a great nation we are. Yes. We must maintain the freedom of the seas with that strong naval presence. And today we welcome the newest member of that presence. The mighty the fighting US esport Lauderdale With their keel certified to be truly fairly laid by our sponsor. The honorable MEREDITH Burger on October 13, 2017. Our Navy is 242nd birthday, it has been four years, eight months and 17 days since accumulating in the fighting. Fort Lauderdale is now fully complete and combat ready. Let me take just a minute to tell you about this lovely lady. You see when ships are built, they’re designed as flights to identify when significant changes take place. Flight one being the first of the class, although technically still a flight one. I like to think of her as a flight 1.5 as she is leading the way to transition to flight two ships to be built later. Fort Lauderdale is designed with many changes in her improvements from previous ships in the class, whether operating as part of an amphibious ready group and expeditionary strike force or independently. The capabilities of Fort Lauderdale are impressive. For Ford Lauderdale is American design. She is American built from American steel and she is crewed by heroes at 684 ft long and 100 and five ft wide. A Sovereign U. S. Territory. She is a large ship displacing 25,000 tons on board. We have over 360 of the best women and men in our country has to offer and she can embark roughly 650 marines for combat ashore. Those marines, those marines, they are our main battery and trust me when I say with the enemy to their front and the seat of their back, there is no fiercer fighting force and those marines and with the speed of lightning the sound of thunder. Our job is to transport land those marines, their equipment supplies by our embarked landing craft, air cushions, LCACS or conventional landing craft or L. C. U. S. Or amphibious assault vehicles, a V. S. And today in the steel belly of the fighting Fort Lauderdale, I have two of our Great Navy’s newest L packs used for just that purpose. All of this will be augmented by the CH 53 or attack helicopters and we also carry a complement of Mv 22 Ospreys, the vertical takeoff landing craft that you see on our flight deck today. All of this specifically designed to support those marines ashore, were also built with reduced radar cross section to make us more difficult to detect and were equipped with state of the art combat systems controlling to rolling airframe missile launchers to protect us from air threats. We employ to mark 46 30 millimeter guns both fore and aft and no less than 9 50 caliber machine guns for the close in fight and look out because we have the best gunners and the whole fleet. Our ship is designed to support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions. We also serve as a secondary aviation platform for all types of amphibious operations, although our warfighting capabilities at the forefront, we also support humanitarian missions around the globe. We are with a fully equipped hospital, 24 beds including six ICU units along with two medical operating rooms and two dental operating rooms. We can easily support people in need around the globe for we are as compassionate as we are lethal. Our ship’s motto together, together together Julia represents the unstoppable power of our Navy Marine Corps team, supported by our family and friends at home and that’s you and you and you. Although we have an impressive variety of aircraft, amphibious craft and advanced technological systems on board the driving force of the shippers. Our crew, these dedicated, proud talented sailors and marines represent the best our nation has to offer. We truly are getting the best of the best they’re born in the eye of a hurricane and rocked in the cradle of the way they’re made of salt water and excellence. Oh yes, King Neptune would be proud of these sailors and marines. Among our crew are many first generation Americans who proudly serve our great nation and since I have taken command, I have had the privilege of promoting 83 sailors to their new ranks. Additionally, in the span of less than three months on board the Mighty Fort Lauderdale, our team has established a fully operating combat capable city from high speed communication networks to a restaurant full of culinary specialists from damage control repair stations equipped to fight our way out of any battle damage to a fully operational well deck for launching reigns to a certified flight team, ready to launch aircraft that can rain hell from above down upon an enemy to a chapel for finding peace. We have reached full operational capability in our sailors and marines have done it all with remarkable speed and efficiency, allowing for the certification of multiple warfare areas completely ahead of schedule. As plank owners are sailors and marines will be the first claim such accomplishments. Finally, if it’s one thing that history has shown us from the days of antiquity is that the stakes of the competition for the control of the seas are high and for our part, USS Fort Lauderdale stands ready to deliver naval power to any place on any day at any time and those that may wish to challenge us. They should pause for we are equipped with America’s unstoppable secret weapon that our enemies will never be able to duplicate. And that is the fierce, dedicated, unstoppable men and women of the United States, Navy and Marine Corps. Thank you! May God bless you all, all who serve and may. God bless America! Will the guest please remain standing for the benediction that will be offered by chaplain Daniel sir, I don’t know that I could follow that. Let us bow our heads and pray please, Holy Father. First of all we ask your good blessings and mercy on Lieutenant Commander Fat and we pray that you would touch her and heal her in your name. And we also thank you for bringing us here today, and for this joyous celebration. You have entrusted us with this beautiful vessel, power and peace, manned and ready with her crew. May we prove faithful, as we leave from here, whether by road or by sea, May we and our families know you and your good shepherd in hand, as the hymn writer composed Eternal Father Strong, to save whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bits the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits! Keep o hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. Amen!