USNS Robert F. Kennedy Christening Ceremony by Military Sealift Command

USNS Robert F. Kennedy Christening Ceremony by Military Sealift Command

In a significant and historic event, the Military Sealift Command recently conducted the christening of its newest ship, the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Robert F. Kennedy. This momentous ceremony took place on a Saturday at the prestigious General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. The event brought together a distinguished gathering of dignitaries and naval personnel. The christening of this remarkable vessel, which pays homage to the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy, marked a poignant moment in the history of the U.S. Navy.

1. Honoring Robert F. Kennedy
USNS Robert F. Kennedy stands as a symbol of tribute to the 64th United States Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, who served from January 1961 to September 1964, during the presidency of his brother, John F. Kennedy. The christening of this ship was a fitting acknowledgment of the significant role played by Robert F. Kennedy in American politics and law.

2. A Memorable Christening Ceremony
The official christening of the ship was an event to remember. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the oldest child of Robert Kennedy and the ship's sponsor, played a pivotal role in breaking the ceremonial bottle of champagne against the ship's hull. It was a moment of pride and remembrance, as the legacy of the Kennedy family became an integral part of this remarkable vessel.

USNS Robert F. Kennedy Christening Ceremony by Military Sealift Command

3. A Symbol of Peace and Strength
The christening event witnessed the presence of notable dignitaries, including Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Rear Adm. Brendan McClain, and Capt. Micah Murphy, commander of Military Sealift Command Pacific and commander of Task Force 33. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, in her address, emphasized the significance of the U.S. Navy as a fighting force and a force for peace. She highlighted the appropriateness of naming a class of ship after civil rights leaders like her father.

4. USNS Robert F. Kennedy in the John Lewis-Class
USNS Robert F. Kennedy is part of the distinguished John Lewis-class of oilers. This class of vessels boasts impressive capabilities, including the capacity to carry a substantial 162,000 barrels of diesel ship fuel, aviation fuel, and dry stores cargo. Notably, this upgraded oiler is equipped with double hulls to enhance oil spill protection and has reinforced cargo and ballast tanks. The vessel is also outfitted with a basic self-defense capability, including crew-served weapons and Nixie torpedo decoys. It features close-in weapons systems like SeaRAMs and an Anti-Torpedo Defense System. The Lewis-class of oilers is poised to replace the current Kaiser Class fleet replenishment oilers, ushering in a new era of naval logistics.

The christening ceremony of USNS Robert F. Kennedy by the Military Sealift Command marked a momentous occasion in naval history. With its impressive capabilities and the legacy of the Kennedy family, this vessel stands as a testament to the enduring values of peace, strength, and honor. It is a symbol of respect for the past and a promise for the future, ensuring that the memory of Robert F. Kennedy lives on in the service of the U.S. Navy.

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