Home Americas US Navy fleet reaches 300 ships with USS Kansas City commissioning

US Navy fleet reaches 300 ships with USS Kansas City commissioning

USS Kansas City
USS Kansas City (LCS 22) at its homeport at Naval Base San Diego. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has hit the 300-ship mark with the commissioning of Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Kansas City (LCS 22) on June 20.

The navy commissioned Kansas City administratively via naval message, due to public health safety and restrictions of large public gatherings related to the coronavirus pandemic and transitioned the ship to normal operations.

Kansas City is the 11th of the Independence-variant to join the fleet and second ship to be named for Kansas City.

The commissioning of Kansas City represents the first time the navy has 300 ships since 2002, when the service had 313 deployable vessels. The navy expects to have 314 ships in the fleet by 2023, while the service’s ultimate goal is to have a 355-ship fleet by 2030.

USS Kansas City (LCS 22)

“This Independence-variant littoral combat ship will continue our proud naval legacy and embody the spirit of the people of Kansas City,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “I am confident the crew of the USS Kansas City will extend the reach and capability of our force and confront the challenges of today’s complex world with our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”

Kansas City’s commanding officer, Cmdr. R.J. Zamberlan, reported the ship ready.

“The caliber of crew required to prepare a warship entering the fleet is second to none,” Zamberlan said. “This is even more impressive aboard an LCS, where every member of the minimally manned team is required to fulfill multiple roles and excel at all of them to get the job done.

“This crew has exceeded expectations in unprecedented times and I could not be prouder to be their captain.”

The name Kansas City was first assigned to a heavy cruiser during World War II. However, construction was canceled after one month due to the end of the war.

The name Kansas City was also assigned to the Wichita-class replenishment oiler AOR-3 in 1967. This ship saw service in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and was decommissioned in 1994.