The first U.S. warship to enter service in a foreign port was commissioned in Sydney, and the ceremony on Garden Island was attended by U.S. and Australian Navy secretaries and dignitaries.
The Littoral Combat Ship USS Canberra, with a crew of 50, hoisted its flag on Saturday as squadrons of soldiers and women cheered for additions to the fleet.
Highly agile and capable of speeds of up to 40 knots, this warship is the second US Navy ship to be named after a non-American city.
The only time a U.S. ship was named after a foreign city was when its predecessor, the heavy cruiser Canberra, was launched in 1943 during the wartime years of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
President Roosevelt issued the order in mourning the loss of the HMAS Canberra and more than 80 sailors who were sunk during the Battle of Savo Island, which was monitoring the American invasion of Guadalcanal.
USS Canberra’s captain William Ashley thanked the Navy’s builders for “a wonderful ship”.
“She has coped like a dream and accomplished all the missions intended,” he said.
Comm Ashley said the naming of the USS Canberra further strengthened the ties between Australia and the United States, and also praised the crew.
“The crew you just saw that brought this ship to life is one of the best crews I’ve ever worked with in my 30 years in the Navy,” he said.
“They love this ship.”
“They care for each other, they love this ship, they pour their blood and sometimes their tears on this ship.”
Defense Minister Richard Marls said Australian officers will be permanently part of the crew of the USS Canberra as part of the ongoing relationship between the two navies.
The Australian link is also marked by the Stars and Stripes kangaroo pinned to the side.
Marls said Australia-US alliance is central to national security
“There is only one alliance. (It) has been and will continue to be fundamental and surprising,” he said.
After spending a month sailing to Australia from its base in San Diego, USS Canberra will now host the opening ceremony of Exercise Talisman Saber, a military training activity between Australia, the United States and regional partners including Japan, Indonesia, France and the United Kingdom.
A procession of Australian and US naval officers will also mark the ship’s commissioning in Canberra on Sunday.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/sydney/2023/07/22/uss-canberra-sydney-commissioning/ USS Canberra Joins Fleet in Sydney Ceremony