Along with Gifford, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the event. The event was also attended by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife. The Navy decided to name the ship after Giffords because of how she showed perseverance throughout the shooting she endured.
Giffords was shot in the head during a meet-and-greet event near a grocery store in Tucson. Six people were killed and 13 were injured when Jared Loughner decided to open fire. He is currently serving life in prison. This shooting caused Giffords to become paralyzed and suffer a language disorder.
Giffords christened the $475 million ship in 2015. The ship is the 9th high-speed warship in a series, which is designed to navigate shallow coastal regions, which are called littoral waters. It will be based in San Diego.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords is the 13th Navy ship named for a living person since 1850. It’s also the 16th ship names for a woman.
What is a Littoral Combat Ship?
A littoral combat ship is one of the newest types of warships designed by the U.S. Navy. It’s designed for speed and agility with the ability to navigate shallower waters close to shore. It’s also capable of open-ocean operations and designed to defeat mines, fast surface crats and quiet diesel submarines.
There are several ships in the class already commissioned and many others on the way. The USS Freedom, USS Forth Worth, USS Independence and PCU Coronado have all been commissioned. Eight other ships are under construction and another four are in the pre-production phase.