The Navy has christened John Lewis-class replenishment oiler, the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), during a 10 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, Jan. 21 in San Diego.
The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, will deliver the ceremonial principal address. Remarks will also be provided by Vice Adm. Darse E. “Del” Crandall, Jr., Judge Advocate General of the Navy; Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer, commander, Military Sealift Command; Earl Warren, MD, grandson of Chief Justice Earl Warren; and Mr. David Carver, president of General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO). In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
The future USNS Earl Warren is the third 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 who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States from 1953 to 1969.
“Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren’s legacy continues to live on in civil rights, freedom and democracy,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “His contributions to equality have greatly strengthened our nation. There is no doubt that the future civilian mariner crew aboard this ship will embody Warren’s legacy.”
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. The first of class, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), delivered in July 2022 and is currently undergoing post-delivery test and trials and operational testing. T-AO 206-209 are under construction at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego and T-AO 210-212 are under contract. The Navy plans to procure 20 ships of the John Lewis class.
Reference: United States Navy