Navy names USS Gabrielle Giffords

The secretary of the Navy announced on Friday that a new littoral combat ship will be named after former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

The announcement comes the same day that President Obama signed the last piece of legislation sponsored by Giffords, a bill aimed at reducing drug trafficking along the American borders with Canada and Mexico.

Giffords, who recently stepped down from office, was the target of a shooting rampage in early January 2011.

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“The name this ship bears and the story represented by that name will inspire all those who come in contact with her,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at a naming ceremony at the Pentagon Friday.

Giffords appeared at the ceremony with her husband, Mark Kelly, as well as former Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Roxanna Green, the mother of Christina Taylor-Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., last year.

Mabus said that Green would be the sponsor of the USS Gabrielle Giffords.

The ship named after Giffords is a littoral combat ship, a smaller ship designed for operations close to the shore. The USS Gabrielle Giffords is the Navy’s 10th LCS.

Mabus said the ship would stay in the Navy fleet for three decades.

“It’s very appropriate that the LCS-10 be named for someone who has become synonymous with courage, who has inspired the nation with remarkable resiliency,” Mabus said.