The Navy will christen its newest amphibious transport dock, the future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD 29), in a ceremony at 9 a.m. CDT Saturday, June 11 at the Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Division Naval Shipyard (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The keynote speaker is Under Secretary of the Navy Erik Raven. Additional speakers include Lt. Gen. David Bellon, Commandant of United States Marine Corps Reserve and Marine Corps Forces, South; Vice Adm. Randy Crites, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Capability and Resource Integration; and Ms. Kari Wilkinson, President of Ingalls Shipbuilding. In a centuries-old Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsors and the granddaughters of its namesake, Shana McCool and Kate Oja, will christen the ship by smashing a bottle of sparkling wine on the bow.
The ship is named in honor of Navy veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, retired Captain Richard Miles McCool, Jr., who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism. evidence on June 10 and 11, 1945, in the coordination of damage control and salvage. operations after a series of attacks by Japanese kamikaze aircraft during the Battle of Okinawa. On June 10, 1945, his leadership efforts greatly assisted in the evacuation of survivors from a sinking destroyer. After his ship was struck by a suicide bomber on June 11, 1945, Lt. McCool, Jr., despite wounds from shrapnel and painful burns, led vigorous damage control efforts to save his ship from destruction and personally rescue sailors trapped in flaming compartments. McCool died on March 5, 2008.
“Tomorrow, we christen the future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr., recognizing a Medal of Honor recipient and true American hero for his unwavering dedication to duty and service to our country,” the Secretary of the Navy said. Carlos DelToro. “This historic occasion brings us one step closer to ‘Railway Crew’ with the men and women who will carry on the proud naval tradition of defending our nation and working for a more peaceful world.”
The future Richard M. McCool, Jr. is the 13th San Antonio-class ship, designed to support the embarkation, transport and disembarkation of elements of 650 Marines by landing craft or air cushion vehicles. ‘air. A flight deck hangar further enhances the vessel’s capabilities, which can support the Osprey (MV-22) tiltrotor aircraft.
San Antonio-class ships can support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of amphibious readiness groups (ARGs), expeditionary strike groups, or joint task forces. These capabilities enable the United States Navy to protect American security abroad, promote regional stability, and preserve future peace.
Media can direct questions to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For more information on this class of ship, please see the Navy Information Folder at https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Fact-Files/Display-FactFiles/Article/2222713/amphibious-transport-dock-lpd/.