The Navy is naming a boat after Pennsylvania’s capital

Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer announces the name of the new ship, flanked by Pennsylvania and Harrisburg officials. (Katie Meyer/WITF)

Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer announces the name of the new ship, flanked by Pennsylvania and Harrisburg officials. (Katie Meyer/WITF)

Pennsylvania’s capital city is, in a way, joining the Navy. Federal officials have announced that one of the country’s newest ships will be called the USS Harrisburg.

Trump administration officials say the boat is part of their much-touted expansion of military spending.

A bipartisan group of local, state, and federal lawmakers gathered at the Capitol to celebrate the vessel—an LPD Flight 2, designed for both amphibious warfare and humanitarian relief missions.

But it doesn’t exist quite yet.

Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said the $800 million ship will be built in Mississippi over the next two or so years.

It’s one of a class of 13 new boats being built in a larger effort to bulk up the military, he added.

“What you’re seeing, ladies and gentlemen, is the president’s commitment to building up our military, getting it back on its feet from the deficit we were in a while ago,” he told a supportive crowd.

This summer, President Donald Trump signed an act giving $716 billion dollars for national defense spending—an amount he has called historic.

It is higher than military spending in the last several years of the previous administration, though President Barack Obama passed $726 billion in spending in 2011.

Richard said the decision to name a new boat after Harrisburg was his—noting he is essentially given free rein to name the boats whatever he wants.

“When we looked at this ship, and the impact that it would make on the Navy, and when we looked at Pennsylvania and the impact Pennsylvania has had not only on the Navy but on the Department of Defense, it was an easy decision,” he said.

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