Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, joined a Congressional delegation to San Diego to participate in the Christening Ceremony for the USNS John Lewis, the first ship in the T-AO Fleet Oiler Program.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) led the Congressional delegation. The program was dedicated in honor of the late Congressman John Lewis of Georgia. The ceremony took place one year after the Congressman’s passing.
“John Lewis’ legacy and impact on this world is undeniable and I am so pleased to join Speaker Pelosi for this Congressional delegation to honor our beloved friend and guiding light,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
“John Lewis was more than a fighter. He was a giant who looked injustice in the eye, rolled up his sleeves, and got to work. He was an incredible and fearless leader of the Civil Rights Movement and worked tirelessly to make sure that the United States lived up to its promise of equality and justice for every person. I was very proud and honored to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama every year in recognition of the struggle that took place where John Lewis was almost beaten to death.”
“As we continue John Lewis’ fight against voter suppression legislation one year after his passing, the way in which he lived his life and advocated for an inclusive and fair democracy continues to be a source of inspiration during these trying times,” continued Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
“I hope that with the christening of the USNS John Lewis, Americans from every walk of life will join us in honoring his legacy and commit to doing everything in their power to protect the right to vote for all Americans.”
Secretary of the Navy Raymond E. Mabus, Jr. announced the assignment of the name John Lewis to T-AO-205 on 6 January 2016. According to the Naval Vessel Register, construction was authorized for the first six ships in the class on 30 June 2016. She is named for United States Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis. The contract price for John Lewis is $640,206,756.
The John Lewis class will be equipped with a basic self-defense capability, including crew served weapons, degaussing, and Nixie Torpedo decoys, and has space, weight, and power reservations for Close In Weapon Systems such as SeaRAMs, and an Anti-Torpedo Torpedo Defense System.