Cmdr. R.J. Zamberlan of the USS Kansas City reads his orders
Cmdr. R.J. Zamberlan of the USS Kansas City reads his orders during the ship’s virtual commissioning ceremony. Navy photo

The Navy commissioned the littoral combat ship USS Kansas City on Saturday in a virtual ceremony at its new home port of San Diego.

The commissioning of the 11th littoral ship to be stationed at Naval Base San Diego was acknowledged in an official statement because of restrictions on large public gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander of naval surface forces in the Pacific, welcomed the ship into the fleet, noting that the Kansas City brings capabilities to counter submarines, mines, and fast surface craft that can threaten the Navy’s larger warships.

“Like other littoral combat ships, Kansas City brings speed and agility to the fleet,” said Brown. “Congratulations to Kansas City’s captain and crew for all of your hard work to reach this milestone.”

Mrs. Tracy Davidson, the ship’s sponsor, offered her congratulations to everyone who played a role in delivering the warship to service.

“I am privileged to be a part of this ship honoring Kansas City and look forward to remaining connected to USS Kansas City as her legacy grows, wherever she may sail,” Davidson said.

Kansas City’s commanding officer, Cmdr. R.J. Zamberlan, reported the ship ready, saying, “This crew has exceeded expectations in unprecedented times and I could not be prouder to be their captain.”

The Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the commissioning with the ship’s sponsor, crew, and commissioning committee.

Littoral combat ships are fast, agile and networked surface combatants armed with missiles, a main gun and helicopters. They are being built in two versions, with the trimaran Independence-variants all based in San Diego.

The future USS Kansas City prepares to dock at Naval Base San Diego. Navy photo

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.