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The USS Fort Lauderdale is the 12th of the San Antonio class built at Ingalls Shipbuilding.
The USS Fort Lauderdale is the 12th of the San Antonio class built at Ingalls Shipbuilding. (Huntington Ingalls Industries Facebook)

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (Tribune News Service) — Ingalls Shipbuilding will hold limited-attendance christening ceremonies Saturday for the amphibious transport dock ship USS Fort Lauderdale.

The Fort Lauderdale is the 12th of the San Antonio class built at the Pascagoula shipyard. The 208.5-foot ship’s primary mission is to embark, transport and land U.S. Marine Corps landing forces in a variety of expeditionary and special operations missions, while providing command and control, communications connectivity and medical services.

LPD’s have a top speed of more than 22 knots and feature a crew of 32 officers, 34 non-commissioned officers and 330 enlisted men.

Fort Lauderdale is named in honor of the Florida city, which has a long history with the U.S. military, including the Seminole Wars and Naval Air Station Ft. Lauderdale, which trained thousands of pilots beginning with World War II, including former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

Meredith Berger, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, will serve as the ship sponsor. A former Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of the Navy, Berger began her career in public service in the chief financial officer’s department for the State of Florida.

Due to COVID-19, the christening will be limited to a small list of invitees; however, the event will be livestreamed beginning at 9:45 a.m. Saturday through the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) website or the HII Facebook page.

Ingalls has two more amphibious transport dock ships under construction: Richard M. McCool and the Harrisburg, the first Flight II LPD.

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