The Oakland was commissioned this weekend in Oakland, California, and will be homeported in San Diego, where it will join the littoral combat ships Independence, Coronado, Jackson, Montgomery, Gabrielle Giffords, Omaha, Manchester, Tulsa, Charleston, Cincinnati and Kansas City.
“We now have a finished warship behind us that is ready to be placed into commission,” acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker said in a keynote address at the ceremony, according to a Navy news release. “This ship is a marvel of engineering, which will extend our capabilities for any mission across the blue water, from shoreline to shoreline.”
The socially distanced commissioning ceremony April 17 featured Navy and city leaders such as Vice Adm. Sean Buck, superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
“I am incredibly proud of this crew for their dedication to shipmate and ship as we worked toward the commissioning of USS Oakland,” said Cmdr. Francisco X. Garza, the ship’s commanding officer. “We are honored to carry the name ‘Oakland’ into the fleet.”
Previous U.S. Navy ships bearing the name Oakland include the transport cargo ship Oakland that was first commissioned in 1918 and the light cruiser Oakland from World War II.
Meanwhile, the littoral combat ship Freedom — the service’s first littoral combat ship — wrapped up its final deployment April 12 . The LCS was deployed to U.S. 4th Fleet, where it supported Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission to battle illicit drug trafficking in both the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific.
The Freedom, which was commissioned in 2008, is one of four littoral combat ships that are to be inactivated in 2021, the Navy announced last year.