U.S. Navy Secretary announces ship to be named U.S.S. Montgomery

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Call it a new wave of war ships and the future of the United States Navy. Littoral Combat Ship 8, also known as the U.S.S. Montgomery will set sail in 2015--taking much of the flavor of the Capital City with it.

"The notion of Montgomery and what you stand for will be seen and heard around the world," says U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

He says his time in Montgomery during the 1970's prompted the ship's name. But he also wanted to capture the spirit of the south--paying tribute to thousands of military men and women.

"The citizens of Montgomery, of this great city have been on the front lines throughout our history."

The ship is one of 55 in it's class, 10 of which will be built in Alabama by Mobile-based ship builder Austel USA.

The contract allows the company to double its workforce.

"From our current 2200 to about 4500," says Austel USA President Joe Rella.

Rella says the ship is top of the line and believes even its look will entice people to enlist.

"[It] has such an eye appeal and is so unique that it can't help to be a showcase ship to the Navy and their recruiting efforts."

Some sailors agree.  They're anxious to climb aboard.

"It's very sleek, it's very cool. It doesn't really look like a ship at first glance. So I think when folks see it, it'll stimulate some thought and some curiosity," says Air War College Commander Bob Poling.

The design on the inside will reflect Montgomery with mementos and historical items.

Secretary Mabus says when the ship visits foreign ports, folks there will be able to get on and learn about the Capital City.

The ship should be finished by 2015.  It's expected to cost $435 million dollars.

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