Commanding officer Capt. James Quaresimo talks to the press with the USS Fort Lauderdale behind him on Thursday in Port Everglades, Fla. Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
July 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy held a commissioning ceremony in Florida for its newest amphibious transport dock ship, the USS Fort Lauderdale.
"To the Sailors and Marines who will serve aboard USS Fort Lauderdale, thank you and your families in advance for the service you will fulfill and sacrifices you may endure," Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said Saturday.
"The moment you bring this amphibious transport dock to life, you will strengthen the integrated deterrence capability of our entire Joint Force."
The commissioning is the ceremony that marks the official transition of the ship into the fleet. It was christened in August 2021 before it was delivered to the U.S. Navy last November and, though it is named after the southern Florida city, it will be homeported at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., served as the principal speaker during the ceremony and said it was "an honor to be involved" with the commissioning of the warship, according to a Navy news release.
"It's another chapter to the momentous history, friendship, and respect that the city has with the U.S. Navy," the lawmaker said.
"My support for our military is unwavering. I will always stand by our service members and veterans, and honor those who continue to serve."
Meredith Berget, the assistant Navy Secretary for energy, installations and environment, sponsored the ship and gave the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life."
"The Navy names ships for people, places, and ideas that are special. The Navy certainly picked a special place when naming the USS Fort Lauderdale," Berger said. "I am honored to be the sponsor for this incredible ship."
The USS Fort Lauderdale is a San Antonio-class ship designed to transport around 700 Marines and their equipment to support amphibious assault, special operations and expeditionary warfare missions.