The future USS Santa Barbara was honored during a keel laying ceremony Tuesday in Mobile, Ala.
Austal USA hosted Lolita Zinke, a Santa Barbara native, ship sponsor and keel authenticator, during the morning program.
The vessel will be the third U.S. Navy ship to be named after Santa Barbara.
During Tuesday’s ceremony, Mrs. Zinke wielded her initials into the ship’s keel plate, officially authenticating that the keel of the future USS Santa Barbara, a Littoral Combat Ship, “has been truly and fairly laid.”
Mrs. Zinke is a graduate of UCSB and the California Western School of Law.
She married Ryan Zinke and began a second career as a Navy spouse and served as a civilian employee of the Flag Officer staff of Admiral Boorda at the Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe in London. Her husband is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served in the Navy for 23 years. Mr. Zinke is also a former congressman from Montana and the 52nd secretary of the interior.
From 2015 to 2016, Mrs. Zinke was the freshman president of the congressional club, a spouses club dedicated to bipartisan relationships and charitable activities. She also has served as a member of President Donald Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council, the President’s Veteran’s Administration Landing Team and the Veteran’s Administration’s committee on Veteran Families, Caregivers and Survivors.
For a video of the ceremony, go to vimeo.com/austalusa/download/472759128/b751fff839.