Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, will deliver the ceremonial principal address. Remarks will also be provided by Mr. James Geurts, performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Navy; Vice Adm. Ross Myers, commander, Fleet Cyber Command and commander, U.S. Tenth Fleet; Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer, commander, Military Sealift Command; and Mr. Marcus Tyner, nephew of the ship’s namesake. In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsor, Ms. Alfre Woodard Spencer, will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
The future USNS John Lewis is the first ship in its class and will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The ship is named in honor of the late politician and civil rights leader. John Lewis-class oilers will be named for other prominent civil rights leaders and activists.
The John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187-class fleet replenishment oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea. These ships are part of the Navy's Combat Logistics Force.
In June 2016, the Navy awarded a $3.2 billion contract to General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego for the design and construction of the first six ships of the Future Fleet Replenishment Ship, the John Lewis-class (T-AO 205), with construction commencing in September 2018. The Navy plans to procure 20 ships of the new class.
Lewis passed July 17, 2020; the christening marks the one-year anniversary of his death.
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. More information on the Fleet Replenishment Oilers can be found at: https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Fact-Files/Display-FactFiles/Article/2222909/fleet-replenishment-oilers-t-ao/
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