MARINETTE — After waiting over a year since its launch, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 25, the future USS Marinette, will be christened Saturday at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.

The future USS Marinette was launched Oct. 31, 2020. The event was small, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday’s christening ceremony will properly honor the ship, its namesake and the workers whose efforts went into its construction.

The christening of this ship is particularly meaningful for the community, given that its namesake is the City of Marinette. Former Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis) led a communitywide effort beginning in 2011 advocating for the naming of the ship after the city, and former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced in September 2016 that LCS 25 would be named USS Marinette to honor the place where it was built.

Under Secretary of the Navy Meredith Berger will be the principal speaker at the ceremony. President and Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri Marine Group Dario Deste, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Small Combatants and Ship Systems Steve Allen, Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot and others will also give speeches. The ship’s sponsor, former governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm, will undertake the Navy tradition of breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and the Independence. Lockheed Martin leads the construction of the odd-numbered Freedom-variant hulls in Marinette while Austal USA leads the Independence-variant team in Mobile, Alabama for the even-numbered ships starting from LCS 6.

LCS 25 is the 13th Freedom-variant LCS, 25th LCS in the LCS class and the second ship named in honor of the City of Marinette. The first Marinette (YTB-791), a Natick-class large fleet tugboat, launched in 1967 and performed tugging services in the 5th Naval District, headquartered at Norfolk, Virginia.