Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest littoral combat ship over the weekend, the USS St. Louis, which is the seventh ship to bear the name, officials said.
The commissioning ceremony was the Navy's first virtual commissioning ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is a vivid demonstration of the resiliency embedded in our government and industry teams to fulfill the mission even when confronted with a global pandemic," Rear Admiral Casey Moton said Saturday at the ceremony streamed online from Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
Commander Eric Turner, the future Freedom-variant LCS's executive officer, was the master of ceremony.
"We are here today to commission the seventh United States Navy ship to bear the name of America's gateway to the west, St. Louis, Missouri," Turner said earlier on in the event.
The first St. Louis was commissioned on Dec. 20, 1828, during the "sloop of war," according to Turner, serving in the Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean.
The new USS St. Louis is the 22nd LCS to be delivered to the Navy and the 10th of the Freedom-variant to join the fleet, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.
Littoral combat ships are designed to move fast in near shore environments and are also capable of operations in the open-ocean.
Operations include combating submarines and mines. The ships can also be paired with maritime helicopter for anti-submarine warfare, gunfire support and search and rescue.