3 New Warships to Homeport in San Diego

The Navy says that it will homeport the new littoral combat ships Gabrielle Giffords and Omaha and the futuristic destroyer Zumwalt in San Diego, a move that will pump tens of millions of dollars into the economy.

The LCS is a high speed, lightly armed vessel designed to perform a variety of missions in shallow coastal waters. The Navy has already stationed the first four LCS in San Diego, and has indicated that it would send at least four more. The announcement will push the total to at least 10.

The Gabrielle Giffords and Omaha collectively cost more than $715 million to build. The Navy says it will cost upwards of $21 million a year to pay the ship's officers and enlisted personnel, and millions more to maintain the ships.

The Giffords is named after former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an attempted assassination in 2011. The Omaha is named is named after Nebraska's largest city. Both vessels will arrive next year.

The $3.5 billion Zumwalt is the first in a new generation of destroyers that are designed for shore bombardment and for supporting Marines in various missions, including clandestine operations. The 610-foot ship is the largest destroyer the Navy has ever built. The Zumwalt is named after Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., the former Chief of Naval Operations. The Navy says it will cost at least $12 million to pay the crew's salaries each year.

Zumwalt is scheduled to arrive in 2016 or 2017.

"Anytime a vessel is dedicated to San Diego (it) is good news for the entire region, and it advances our role in support of the Navy's global mission," said Cong. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine.

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This article was written by Gary Robbins from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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