News Releases

Friday, September 20, 2019

Senator, Mrs. Isakson Participate in Keel Laying Ceremony for Future Navy Combat Ship

Dianne Isakson is sponsor of USS Savannah

MOBILE, Ala. – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today joined his wife Dianne at the keel laying ceremony of the U.S. Navy’s future Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship 28, the USS Savannah, at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama, shipyard. Photos from the ceremony are available here.

Dianne Isakson is the ship’s official sponsor, and today’s ceremony marks the official beginning of the ship’s construction. The ship is likely to be christened in summer of 2020, and likely will be commissioned in two years.

“As the daughter and sister of U.S. Navy veterans, I’m proud to sponsor the USS Savannah and to be part of this special ceremony today,” said Dianne Isakson. “I thank the men and women who are working to bring this ship to sea and pray for those serving in our U.S. Navy and armed forces every day.”

“I’m very proud that the U.S. Navy’s next ship will honor my home state,” said Senator Isakson. “The historic city of Savannah is filled with state and U.S. military history and pride, and Dianne’s family has a legacy of service in the U.S. Navy. Dianne and I are both so pleased to be a part of the life of this new ship, and we pray for those who will be working on her development and eventually serving aboard her at sea.”

Historically, U.S. Navy ships have had female sponsors who christen the vessels. Dianne Isakson was asked by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer in early 2018 to sponsor the ship in conjunction with the ship’s naming after the city of Savannah. The ship and crew often continue a relationship with the sponsor and their family throughout the life of the ship. 

Following Dianne Isakson’s acceptance, Secretary Spencer sent a letter thanking her for serving as sponsor.

“As sponsor, you will play a key role in the life of the ship… I hope… that you will maintain a lifelong relationship with SAVANNAH and her crew,” Spencer wrote.

About Dianne Isakson
Dianne Davison Isakson has been married to Senator Isakson for 51 years, and they live in Marietta, Georgia, near their three children and eight grandchildren. Dianne is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a history of family service in the U.S. Navy. Her father was a World War II Naval aviator who flew aerial reconnaissance missions and retired as a Captain. She has two brothers who were both career Navy, one with helicopter maintenance and one an aviator flying aerial reconnaissance missions in Vietnam. She is active in community and volunteer organizations and boards.

About the USS Savannah
The Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship being built at the Austal manufacturing shipyard in Mobile is a 127-meter aluminum trimaran, capable of being outfitted with reconfigurable payloads or mission packages that can be changed to support mine countermeasure, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions. Five Littoral Combat Ships are currently under construction at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile.