House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), served as the principal speaker at the ceremony:
“As House Speaker, I am deeply honored to lead this Congressional delegation of many friends of our beloved late Congressman John Lewis to honor his beautiful and saintly life,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “John Lewis was a warrior for freedom and, as a titan of the civil rights movement, his courage and goodness helped transformed our nation. In the halls of the Capitol, he was fearless in his pursuit of a more perfect union, whether fighting to defend voting rights, end anti-LGBTQ discrimination or respect the dignity and worth of every person.”
In 2016, General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded the contract by the U.S. Navy for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class (T-AO 205), previously known as the TAO(X). The contract calls for the design and construction of six 742-foot-long oilers with a full load displacement of 49,850 tons. Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the oilers have the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots.
The John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187 Class Fleet Replenishment Oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers. These ships are part of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and will become the backbone of the fuel delivery system.
In addition to the christening of this ship, three ships in the T-AO class fleet oiler program for the U.S. Navy – the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) – are currently under construction. The second ship, the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206) is scheduled to launch later this year.
John Lewis-class main characteristics
|Type||Fleet replenishment oiler|
|Displacement||49,850 tons full load|
|Length||746 ft (227.4 m)|
|Beam||106 ft 5 in (32.4 m)|
|Draft||33.5 ft (10.2 m) maximum|
|Propulsion||Two medium-speed Fairbanks-Morse MAN 12V48/60CR diesel engines, two shafts, propellers|
|Speed||20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Endurance||6,147 nmi (11,384 km; 7,074 mi)|
|AN/SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures|
|Armament||Multiple .50 caliber machine guns. Space, weight, and power reservations for Phalanx or SeaRAM CIWS|
|Aviation facilities||Helicopter flight deck|
|UNREP capabilities:||5 refueling stations|
2 dry cargo transfer rigs