Future USS ST LOUIS begins Sailaway to its Home Port

The Navy’s newest and 19th littoral combat ship, the future USS ST LOUIS (LCS-19), departed from the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wis. on Saturday, June 20 to begin its journey to the home port of Mayport, Fla.

The Sailaway is an important milestone in the life of the ship that signifies the end of the construction period and the beginning of preparation to perform its peace-keeping mission.

It culminates months of preparation. After the completion of successful sea acceptance trials earlier this year, a crew of 70 sailors moved onto an empty ship in early April and turned it into an operational warship and their future home at sea. The ship is now fully equipped and inspected, and the crew has trained as a team to become certified in damage control, search and rescue, engineering and navigation.

“USS ST LOUIS has some of the most experienced, talented and hard-working sailors in the U.S. Navy,” said Commander Kevin Hagan, the ship’s commanding officer. “We are proud to be part of this ship, its heritage and its future.”

The journey to Mayport will take approximately one month. The crew will be on watch and perform continuous testing, training and maintenance as the ship maneuvers its way through the Great Lakes, Wellington Canal, Saint Lawrence Seaway and the open ocean. Along the way the ship will make four scheduled stops, each ranging from a few days to a week, for refueling, provisions and additional technical and operational configurations.

The ship will be officially accepted as a unit of the operating forces of the U.S. Navy at a commissioning ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Mayport.

USS ST LOUIS (LCS-19) is the seventh U.S. Navy ship to carry the name of St. Louis. The ship flies the flags of the City of St. Louis, the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues. It is part of the U.S. Navy’s well-connected family of modern vessels that maneuver in shallow, coastal waters. Designed efficiently for speed and agility, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) network counters threats of coastal mines, terrorism and stealth submarines.