Daily Breeze

November 7, 2003

Legislation buoys Torrance proposal in ship-naming program


WASHINGTON — Torrance could hit the seas under legislation approved by the House this week.

The legislation recommends that the Coast Guard name a new class of vessels in its “Deep-water” modernization program for U.S. cities. Rep. Jane Harman, D-El Segundo, sponsored the provision at the urging of Torrance Councilman Ted Lieu.

Lieu said the idea grew from the fact that the Coast Guard will be a focus of the city’s Armed Forces Day parade in 2005.

“It would dovetail nicely if the Coast Guard could start naming some vessels after cities in that year,” he said.

Lieu also noted Torrance’s coastal location, the South Bay’s long history as a center of the defense industry and the major role that cities are now playing in homeland security, which is also a main duty of the Coast Guard.

“Because of that, we thought Torrance would be a good fit,” Lieu said.

Coast Guard guidelines allow for its ships to be named after “geographic locations.”

The Deepwater program calls for three new classes of Coast Guard cutters and numerous smaller boats. It would also create a fleet of new aircraft.

Harman’s provision is included in legislation that authorizes Coast Guard operations for 2004. It now goes to the Senate.

“Since 9-11, the Coast Guard, our cities and our towns have been on the front line of homeland security,” Harman said. in a written statement. “It’s particularly exciting that the city of Torrance, which has been on the forefront of honoring our armed forces and is strategically located on the Pacific, was the moving force behind this proposal.”