SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The vice chief of naval operations will be the keynote speaker at Saturday's commissioning of the USS Coronado at Naval Air Station North Island, the Navy announced Thursday.
Adm. Mark Ferguson will deliver the principal address as the 417-foot littoral combat ship is put into active service. The U.S. Naval Academy graduate served as the commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold, which is currently based in San Diego. He was also previously a special assistant to the supreme allied commander in Europe and chief of naval personnel.
Longtime Coronado resident Susan Ring Keith will serve as the ship's sponsor, with the task of giving the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!" She's the daughter of Eleanor Ring, who was the sponsor of the previous USS Coronado.
"The commissioning of USS Coronado is a celebration of the history of the great city of Coronado and its lasting relationship with our Navy and Marine Corps," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said. "The sailors aboard LCS 4 will bring this mighty warship to life with their skill and dedication, honoring her namesake and our nation for years to come."
The new USS Coronado was designed to be a high-speed, shallow draft multi-mission vessel capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. The Navy said the LCS was designed to fight in coastal waters.
A modular design allows an LCS to be outfitted for various types of missions, including surface, mine and anti-submarine warfare.
The first USS Coronado was a patrol frigate that escorted convoys during World War II. The other was an amphibious transport dock that was reconfigured into an auxiliary command ship.
The commissioning ceremony is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and is open only to ticketed guests.