Defense

Navy will name rescue ship ‘Cherokee Nation’ to honor tribe’s contributions to the military

U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul L. Archer

The U.S. Navy on Friday said it will name its newest rescue ship “Cherokee Nation” in honor of the contributions Cherokee people have made to the military.

“It is my privilege to announce that the many Cherokee Nation citizens who’ve served throughout the years will be remembered with the highest honor a Secretary of the Navy can bestow, the naming of a ship,” Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a statement.

{mosads}“The future USNS Cherokee Nation will expand our capabilities and form a critical backbone for the strength and readiness of our entire fleet,” he added.

The ship is the fifth vessel to be named in recognition of the services the Cherokee people have made to the U.S. military. It is expected to be completed in July 2021.

The Navy said the $64.8 million contract awarded to Gulf Island Shipyards for design and construction of the ship includes options for as many as six more vessels named in honor of prominent Native Americans or Native American tribes.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a statement that the tribe is “extremely honored that the U.S. Navy is recognizing our tribal nation and the generations of Cherokee men and women who have bravely and humbly sacrificed for our freedom today.” 

“Our Cherokee people have contributed in every major battle and war ever fought in this country and continue to serve in the Armed Forces in some of the highest rates per ethnicity,” he continued. “Cherokees are a strong, resilient people, and we are privileged to have a U.S. ship at sea that reflects both our country and tribe’s history and values.”

Tags Cherokee Nation Native Americans Navy ship Tribe vessel
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