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Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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Names for Navy ships traditionally have been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President and in accordance with rules prescribed by Congress. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time. There have been exceptions to the Navys ship-naming rules, particularly for the purpose of naming a ship for a person when the rule for that type of ship would have called for it to be named for something else. Some observers in recent years have perceived a breakdown in, or corruption of, the rules for naming Navy ships. The 10 most recently named aircraft carriers have been named for U.S. presidents 8 ships and Members of Congress 2 ships. Virginia SSN-774 class attack submarines are being named for states. An exception occurred on January 8, 2009, when the Secretary of the Navy announced that SSN-785, the 12th ship in the class, would be named for former Senator John Warner. Destroyers are named for U.S. naval leaders and heroes. Littoral Combat Ships LCSs are being named for small and medium-sized cities. San Antonio LPD-17 class amphibious ships are being named for U.S. cities. An exception occurred on April 23, 2010, when the Secretary of the Navy announced that LPD-26, the 10th ship in the class, would be named for the late Representative John P. Murtha. The Navy announced on June 27, 2008, that the first LHA-6 class amphibious assault ship would be named America, a name previously used for an aircraft carrier CV-66 that served in the Navy from 1965 to 1996. Lewis and Clark TAKE-1 class cargo and ammunition ships are being named for noted explorers and pioneers of various kinds. Joint High Speed Vessels JHSVs are being named for American traits and values. An exception has occurred with JHSV- 4, the Navys second JHSV JHSVs 1 and 3 are to be operated by the Army, which the Secretary of the Navy announced on March 25, 2010, was being named for the city of Fall River

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Marine Engineering

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