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Mount Vernon, VA, June 30, 2023 – Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro will host a ship naming celebration for the future USS Lafayette (FFG 65) on the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon on Monday, July 3, 2023, at 10:30 AM ET. 

The future USS Lafayette honors Marquis De Lafayette and his service during the American Revolutionary War. The choice of Mount Vernon for the celebration commemorates the long-term friendship between George Washington and Lafayette.

SECNAV Del Toro will provide remarks and announce the sponsor of Lafayette. Other speakers include French Ambassador to the U.S. Laurent Bili, his spouse, Sabine Raczy-Bili, and Dr. Doug Bradburn, President and CEO of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.  Also in attendance will be “General Washington” and “Marquis de Lafayette.”

Media interested in covering the event should RSVP as soon as possible to Julie Almacy at jalmacy@mountvernon.org or 703.667.3622. Registered media will receive a confirmation email with participation instructions.

Read more about the announcement in France here.

Additional Background

A member of the French nobility, the young Lafayette took a fervent interest in the cause of the American revolutionaries, and in December 1776, was contracted into service as a major general in the Continental Army. In 1779, he returned briefly to France, where he successfully advocated for military aid for the Americans. He was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine, where British soldiers shot him in the leg. After his recovery, Lafayette joined Gen. George Washington as a member of his personal staff, forming a bond that has been characterized as the one shared between a father and his son.

The Constellation-class guided missile frigate represents the Navy’s next generation small surface combatant. This ship class will be an agile, multi-mission warship, capable of operations in both blue-water and littoral environments, providing increased combat-credible forward presence that provides a military advantage at sea.

The Constellation-class will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations. 

Specifically, the class includes an enterprise air surveillance radar, Baseline Ten Aegis combat system, a Mk 41 vertical launch system, communications systems, Mk 57 gun weapon system countermeasures, and added capability in electronic warfare and information operations with design flexibility for future growth. 

Find more information on Constellation-class guided missile frigates here.

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