WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced that the newest Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) will be named the USS Beloit to honor the City of Beloit for its contributions to the U.S. Navy and America’s national security.
Senator Baldwin advocated for naming LCS 29 after the City of Beloit to recognize this community’s longstanding commitment to Wisconsin’s maritime economy and our nation’s defense. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Baldwin has consistently worked to secure funding for the LCS program, including the future USS Beloit, which will be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard. The LCS program is supported by thousands of skilled workers at the shipyard and at the 200 suppliers across Wisconsin, benefitting the state’s manufacturing and shipbuilding industries.
“The City of Beloit has a proud history of supporting the Navy and the U.S. military. Citizens of Beloit have selflessly served in our Armed Forces, and companies like Fairbanks Morse that call the city home—and boast patriotic workforces that are second to none—have ensured for generations that our servicemembers can safely and successfully complete their missions,” said Senator Baldwin. “So I was thrilled to champion this effort to recognize Beloit’s support of the U.S. Navy and our national defense. The naming of a Navy ship is a significant honor steeped in tradition, and I want to thank Secretary Spencer for working with me on this exciting decision.”
“The city and citizens of Beloit have been a steadfast supporter of the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “From building engines for freedom-variant LCSs to manufacturing components for the Ford-class aircraft carriers, the contributions of Beloit citizens make our Navy stronger, more capable, and more lethal. I am proud to name the next ship in honor of the city and citizens of Beloit.”
“The City of Beloit is greatly honored by the U.S. Navy’s recognition of this region’s long-standing commitment to supporting the military. We take great pride in the men and women of our community who have dedicated themselves to our nation’s security, whether it is through military service or behind-the-scenes work at companies like Fairbanks Morse. Fairbanks Morse has a significant history of contributing to the Navy, including when it put its locomotive business on hold to manufacture 1,650 engines in support of the nation’s World War II efforts. This recognition of Fairbanks Morse’s patriotism is well deserved,” said Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther.
The relationship among the City of Beloit, Fairbanks Morse, and the Navy began in 1938, when Fairbanks Morse sold its first engine to the Navy. The City of Beloit greatly supported Fairbanks Morse’s wartime efforts by building new housing developments, establishing new bus lines to bring in workers from adjacent communities and helping women join the workforce. Similarly, the Beloit community played a significant role in the war effort though the founding of the Council of Defense, which organized fundraising, scrap metal drives, civilian defense initiatives in case of blackouts and air raids, and the training of blackout workers and volunteers.
“Fairbanks Morse has over 125 years of history in Beloit and shares a very special relationship with the United States Navy, so we are extremely proud that LCS 29 will be officially named the USS Beloit to pay tribute to our long and significant association with the U.S. Navy beginning with World War II. I would also like to express our appreciation of Senator Baldwin’s efforts advocating for this honor that every citizen of Beloit and every Fairbanks employee will be proud of,” said Fairbanks Morse president Deepak Navnith.
Fairbanks Morse manufactures a large percentage of the Navy’s large medium-speed diesel engines and was selected as the Freedom variant “Supplier of the Year” in 2015. Senator Baldwin has long supported the work of Fairbanks Morse and their efforts to strengthen Wisconsin’s manufacturing base.