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, 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.
Detailed history pending.
Mark L. Evans
6 August 2019