MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A 338-foot long Navy ship built right here in Mobile will soon take to the water for the world to see.
The U.S. Secretary of the Navy came to Austal USA Saturday morning to help christen a vessel that will show off the shipbuilding skills of Mobile's workers.
The event held special meaning for Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and 29 ladies he graduated with from Ackerman High School in Choctaw County, Mississippi, in 1966. Mabus invited the women to serve as sponsors, representing the contributions of the men and women of rural America.
He called it "one of the most personally satisfying events I've ever had in my life: to have the people I grew up with (there), and went to school with for 12 years, that I've loved, and they have loved me back, and supported me all my life."
Austal officials hope the ship will be a source of pride for the men and women here who helped build it.
Mabus said, "It's going to be carrying Marines and soldiers vast distances, across the Pacific, in every ocean that we've got."
Brian Leathers, interim President of Austal USA, said, "Probably everybody in the yard, at some point in time, had something to do with this. Remember, everybody's important."
Saturday was an important day for Theresa Gilliam Pitts, who officially christened the ship, and the other ladies with her who also graduated from Ackerman.
When asked if she was nervous, Pitts said, "No, just enjoying it, and enjoying having everybody together."
An arrest has been made in the robbery to the Country Breeze convenience store on Old Pascagoula Road in Grand Bay.
The Fairhope Police Department recently arrested three young men in connection with multiple cases of burglaries in town.
Three people are dead after a shooting near the University of South Alabama Tuesday, December 10. Mobile Police said China Barber, Augustus Bennett, and Robert Sprinkle were the victims of what police call a murder-suicide.
Mobile police have released the names of three shooting victims. Police say the shooting was the result of domestic violence.
Bay Area Food Bank, Christian Food Pantry, and American Flooring and Cabinets join together to feed families in need this Christmas season.
Clear skies and a secondary push of chilly air arrive tonight as a stronger area of high pressure moves in from the central plains.