Supreme Court Justice Christens USNS Puerto Rico in Alabama

Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court Judge and ship sponsor, gives a speech during a ship naming ceremony at City Hall in Washington, D.C., Dec. 14, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo/Heath Zeigler)
Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court Judge and ship sponsor, gives a speech during a ship naming ceremony at City Hall in Washington, D.C., Dec. 14, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo/Heath Zeigler)

MOBILE, Ala. — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was on hand in Mobile, Alabama, to christen a U.S. Navy ship.

Al.com reports that the USNS Puerto Rico was christened Saturday at the Austal USA shipyard, where it was built. Sotomayor broke a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow, a Navy tradition.

The Puerto Rico was the 11th of 12 Expeditionary Fast Transport ships to be built by Austal under a $1.9 billion contract.

"This ship honors the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the contributions Puerto Ricans have made to our nation and Navy and Marine Corps team," Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a press release. "USNS Puerto Rico will provide our commanders high-speed sealift mobility and agility and I am thankful for this ship, her crew, and our industrial force teammates whose service makes this great ship possible."

The Navy says the ship is the first active ship in naval service to honor Puerto Rico. Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, resident commissioner of Puerto Rico, served as the main speaker for the ceremony.

The Navy says ships of this kind are meant to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.

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