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US Navy to christen USS Charleston on Saturday - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

US Navy to christen USS Charleston on Saturday

The similarly designed littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords moored at San Diego's Broadway Pier. (Source: US Navy) The similarly designed littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords moored at San Diego's Broadway Pier. (Source: US Navy)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The Navy will christen the USS Charleston Saturday morning in Mobile, Alabama. 

The military says the combat ship is its newest Independence-variant littoral vessel. 

According to the Navy, the future USS Charleston is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. 

"It is designed to defeat asymmetric 'anti-access' threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft," Navy officials said. 

Former Charleston mayor Joe Riley's wife, Charlotte Riley, serves as the ship's sponsor and will be on hand for the Saturday morning ceremony. 

"The ceremony will be highlighted by Mrs. Riley breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition," the Navy said. 

The Navy provided the following additional information on the USS Charleston: 

The name Charleston has a long and storied history in the U.S. Navy. The first Navy ship to bear the name Charleston was a row galley that defended the coast of South Carolina during the Quasi-War with France. The second Charleston (C-2) was a protected cruiser that received the surrender of Guam during the Spanish-American War. The third Charleston (C-22) was a St. Louis-class protected cruiser that performed escort and troop transport duties in World War I. The ship named Charleston (PG-51) was an Erie-class patrol gunboat that earned the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one battle star for her service in the northern Pacific during World War II. The fifth Charleston (AKA-113/LKA-113) was an amphibious cargo ship that served during the Vietnam War. 

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