The USS Santa Barbara, pictured in a calm sea with blue-sky background, is a high-speed, shallow draft, multi-mission ship.
The USS Santa Barbara is a high-speed, shallow draft, multi-mission ship able to operate alone or as part of a battle group. Credit: Courtesy photo

The Santa Barbara Navy League has invited the public to sign up to attend the official, invite-only, commissioning of the third ship in Naval history named after Santa Barbara on Saturday, April 1.

The celebration will take place at Wharf 5, Port Hueneme, Naval Base Ventura County. Attendees will have a chance to tour the ship itself.

To attend the event registration is required; visit to request an invitation.

Commissioning of the USS Santa Barbara, a littoral combat ship (LCS), has been in planning by the commissioning committee for more than a year, said Kevin McTague, committee chair.

“Santa Barbara has a rich history with U.S. Navy Ships that goes back to 1908 with the visit of President Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet and includes the commissioning of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in 2003,” said McTague.

“This is the third USS Santa Barbara to enter commissioned service, underscoring the city’s poignant and important relationship with Naval vessels,” he said.

The mission of the commissioning committee is to provide assistance and financial support for the commissioning celebrations, as well as support for the crew by providing living and decorative enhancements for crew comforts, and recurring support for the crew and their families over the lifetime of the ship.

“In short, we are bringing the community together to welcome our city’s namesake ship as part of our family,” McTague said.

The newest LCS ship to enter the fleet, the USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32), is a Independence-variant LCS, a high-speed, shallow draft, multi-mission ship capable of operating independently or as part of a battle group. The LCS provides the Navy a lethal platform to conduct littoral and open ocean operations.

At one-third the cost of larger combatants, LCS ships can rapidly fill gaps in littorals and strategic choke points globally — all at a high speed and fuel efficiency with a flexible design that can be utilized for many different missions.