US Navy to dub newest rescue ship ‘Cherokee Nation’

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — One of the U.S. Navy’s newest rescue ships is being named the “Cherokee Nation” to honor the service and contributions the Cherokee people have made to the Navy and Marine Corps.

Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer announced Friday that Gulf Island Shipyards has been awarded a $64.8 million contract to build the ship, scheduled for completion by 2021.

The Navy says the contract includes an option for six additional vessels, each to be named in honor of a prominent Native American or tribe.

Navy officials say it’s the fifth U.S. ship to be named in honor of the Cherokee people and the first since a World War II-era tugboat dubbed the USS Cherokee.

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