HOUSTON – Less than three months and counting. The USS Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned June 10 at Pier 21 in Galveston.
A former secretary of the Navy said former Democratic Arizona congresswoman's name is synonymous with courage.
Giffords inspired the nation with her resiliency after she was shot in the head during an assassination attempt in January 2011.
“To have the LCS 10 named after her, I got to say, I think it's to date, one of the highlights of her life. It might even be above getting married to me,” said her husband, retired U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly.
At 450 feet long, the littoral combat ship has a relatively small crew. It’s manned with 70 sailors. Other ships have at least three times as many people. It’s highly automated. A modern day ship built with modern day technology, configured to respond against threats on three fronts.
“Right now there are three specialized packages that we have. We have mine warfare. We have surface warfare and we also have the undersea warfare,” Cmdr. Keith C. Woodley said.
Mark Kelly says his wife's service on the Houston Armed Services Committee for the 2 1/2 terms she served in Congress were very important to her.
Tilman Fertitta, the commissioning chairman, says the event in June will reflect that.
“It's going to be three days of festivities and it's just great for the area. We don't get to do commissioning much in South Texas,” Fertitta said.