The commissioning ceremony for one of the Navy's newest combat ships, the USS Charleston, will be held in downtown Charleston on March 2, officials announced Monday.
Mayor John Tecklenburg and members of the Charleston Commissioning Committee said the ceremony for the city's sixth namesake ship will be at 10 a.m. at the Columbus Street Terminal, 30 Johnson St.
Those interested in attending the commissioning ceremony must register for event tickets in advance at navyleaguecharleston.org. Individual registration is required for each ticket desired and will remain open through 11:59 p.m. Feb. 14.
“The commissioning of the USS Charleston is a great honor for our city, and further strengthens our deep and abiding connection to the United States Navy," Tecklenburg said.
The event is expected to be live-streamed by the Department of Defense’s Public Affairs organization, and can be viewed at navylive.dodlive.mil.
Charlotte Riley, wife of former Mayor Joe Riley, is the ship’s sponsor and took part in the ceremonial breaking of a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow two years ago at its christening in Mobile, Ala.
The Charleston is a littoral class ship, part of a new wave of design for the Navy. They are about 400 feet long, have a top speed of more than 46 mph and cost $440 million.
They are designed for both near-shore and open-ocean operation, and can counter threats like mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.
Prior ships named after the Holy City have been part of the Navy’s arsenal dating back to the early days of the nation. The first was a row galley that defended the coast of South Carolina during the Quasi-War with France.
Others were a protected cruiser that received the surrender of Guam during the Spanish-American War, a St. Louis-class protected cruiser that performed escort and troop transport duties in World War I, an Erie-class patrol gunboat that served in the northern Pacific during World War II and an amphibious cargo ship that served during the Vietnam War.
The event will be part of the upcoming Charleston Navy Week, which will be held March 11-16.