With a splash of bubbly over the bow, Austal USA christened the USS Augusta on Saturday — the 17th Littoral Combat Ship designed and built by the Mobile-based shipbuilder.
Leigh Sauffley, who served as chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court from 2001 to 2020, did the honors in her role as ship sponsor. Since leaving the court, she has been serving as president and dean of the University of Maine School of Law.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be the Sponsor of the USS Augusta, named for the capital city of the great State of Maine. I am grateful to the men and women of Austal USA for the care and precision with which they have built the Augusta, and I am confident that the Augusta will serve the U.S. Navy and the people of the United States with distinction,” said Saufley.
“On behalf of the State of Maine, with its long seafaring traditions, Mark O’Brien, mayor of Augusta, Maine, and my sponsor’s matron, Cathy Ingalls, I send our best to Commander Polnaszek, his crew, and all who will have the good fortune to experience the Augusta’s strength and speed.”
Speaking for Austal, President Rusty Murdaugh said, “Building these ships is not easy. It takes thousands of the world’s best shipbuilders here at Austal USA, along with a robust supplier network, a strong partnership with our elected officials, and the cooperation and support of our Navy teammates. I am proud of our team for pulling together to achieve our common goal of efficiently delivering state-of-the-art surface combatants to the Navy on budget and on schedule!”
USS Augusta is slated for delivery to the Navy early in 2023 with its home port in San Diego, California.