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Billings (LCS-15)

2019–

The first U.S. navy ship named for the city in Montana. 

(LCS-15: displacement 3,450; length 387.6'; beam 57.7'; draft 14.1'; speed 40+ knots; complement 45+ augmentees that can include an aviation detachment, maritime security mission package, and a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment; armament 1 Mk 110 57 millimeter gun, RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), 2 Mk 44 30 millimeter Bushmaster II guns, and 4 .50 caliber machine guns; aircraft 1 Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawk and 1 Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout; class Freedom

Secretary of the Navy Raymond E. Mabus Jr., announced the assignment of the name Billings to (LCS-15) on 6 June 2013. The littoral combat ship was laid down at Marinette, Wisc., by Marinette Marine Corp. (Lockheed Martin), on 2 November 2015; launched on 1 July 2017; sponsored by Mrs. Sharla Tester, wife of Senator Jonathan Tester of Montana; completed her acceptance trials in the waters of Lake Michigan on 7 December 2018; and was delivered on 1 February 2019.


Billings launches sideways into the Menominee River at Marinette, Wisc., 1 July 2017. (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin, U.S. Navy Photograph 170701-N-N0101-023, Navy NewsStand)
Caption: Billings launches sideways into the Menominee River at Marinette, Wisc., 1 July 2017. (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin, U.S. Navy Photograph 170701-N-N0101-023, Navy NewsStand)


The ship knifes through the water as she carries out acceptance trials in the cold waters of Lake Michigan, 6 December 2018. (U.S. Navy Photograph 181206-N-N0101-026, courtesy of Lockheed Martin, Navy News)
Caption: The ship knifes through the water as she carries out acceptance trials in the cold waters of Lake Michigan, 6 December 2018. (U.S. Navy Photograph 181206-N-N0101-026, courtesy of Lockheed Martin, Navy News)

Billings, Cmdr. Michael Johnson in command, collided with moored bulk carrier Rosaire Desgagnes at Berth 30 at Montreal, Canada, while steaming to her new home port of Naval Station Mayport, Fla., at about 1400 on 21 June 2019. The littoral combat ship stood out of a slip along the St. Lawrence River to resume her voyage and, despite being under assistance by two tugs, unsuccessfully stemmed a strong current and her starboard side collided with the moored commercial vessel’s port side. Neither ship reported casualties, but Billings sustained minor damage below the waterline and completed repairs in the Canadian port before she continued on to Florida. On 28 June 2019, Capt. Shawn Johnston, Commander Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 2, relieved Johnson “due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.” Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, commanding officer, Blue Crew, Wichita (LCS-13), assumed command of Billings.

Billings was commissioned on 3 August 2019, at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, Fla., Cmdr. Nathan Rowan in command.


Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, Billings’ commanding officer, speaks as the ship is commissioned at NAS Key West, Fla., 3 August 2019. (MC3 Marianne Guemo, U.S. Navy Photograph 190803-N-RL695-1270, Navy News)
Caption: Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, Billings’ commanding officer, speaks as the ship is commissioned at NAS Key West, Fla., 3 August 2019. (MC3 Marianne Guemo, U.S. Navy Photograph 190803-N-RL695-1270, Navy News)


Sailors “bring the ship to life” as they rush to man their stations during her commissioning ceremony at NAS Key West, Fla., 3 August 2019. (MC3 Marianne Guemo, U.S. Navy Photograph 190803-N-RL695-1318, Navy News)
Caption: Sailors “bring the ship to life” as they rush to man their stations during her commissioning ceremony at NAS Key West, Fla., 3 August 2019. (MC3 Marianne Guemo, U.S. Navy Photograph 190803-N-RL695-1318, Navy News)

Detailed history pending. 

Mark L. Evans
6 August 2019

Published: Tue Aug 06 07:44:29 EDT 2019