US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has announced that the navy's new replenishment oiler (T-AO 205) will be named the USNS John Lewis.
The first ship of the next-generation of fleet replenishment oilers will be named in honour of John Lewis, a civil rights movement legend and current US representative of Georgia's fifth congressional district.
According to Mabus, the USNS John Lewis ship will play a crucial role in the missions of the navy and marine corps.
Mabus added: "Naming this ship after John Lewis is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive social and human rights movements in the US, directly shaping both the past and future of our nation.
"T-AO 205 will, for decades to come, serve as a visible symbol of the freedoms Representative Lewis holds dear, and his example will live on in the steel of that ship and in all those who will serve aboard her."
Military Sealift Command will operate USNS John Lewis. It will provide underway replenishment of fuel and stores to the US Navy ships at sea and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers.
A contract will be provided for the ship in summer this year, while construction is expected to start in 2018.
Image: US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. Photo: courtesy of United States Navy.