Lucas, Inhofe, Lankford, Cole, Mullin, Hern, and Bice Welcome Naming of USNS Muscogee Creek Nation
Cheyenne, OK – Representative Frank Lucas (OK-03), U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs; Representative Tom Cole (OK-04), citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma and co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus; Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), citizen of Cherokee Nation; Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01); and Representative Stephanie Bice (OK-05) made the following statements after the Honorable Gregory J. Slavonic, Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy and Oklahoma native, announced that a future Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ship will be named USNS Muscogee Creek Nation (T-ATS 10) to honor the self-governed Native American tribe located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendants of not just one tribe, but a union of several. Muscogee (Creek) Nation is the largest of the federally recognized Muscogee tribes, which is the fourth largest tribe in the U.S. with more than 86,000 citizens – some of whom have or continue to serve across the U.S. Armed Forces. This will be the first Navy vessel to carry the name Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
“Today I’m proud to join the Muscogee Creek Nation and all Oklahomans in celebrating the United States Navy’s announcement to name one of its ships the USNS Muscogee Creek Nation,” said Congressman Lucas. “The men and women of the Muscogee Creek Nation who have served in our Armed Forces have made substantial contributions to the national security of our country and this honor is well deserved.”
“I’m pleased that we’re recognizing the contributions all Muscogee (Creek) men and women have made to our armed forces today,” Senator Inhofe said. “The USNS Muscogee Creek Nation is a fitting tribute to the generations of Muscogee (Creek) citizens who have served and sacrificed for our nation.”
“The men and women in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation who have served did so with distinction, and I am grateful for the opportunity to recognize them for their service to our nation,” said Senator Lankford. “The decision to honor our Muscogee (Creek) service members by naming a Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ship the USNS Muscogee Creek Nation will help remind young people and future generations of the sacrifices made by the Nation for the entire country.”
“I am delighted to learn that the United States Navy will honor the Muscogee Creek Nation with a future vessel bearing its name,” said Congressman Tom Cole. “Native Americans have a tremendous history of service to and sacrifice for their country in the U.S. military. Indeed, all tribal nations, Oklahomans and Americans can draw strength and find great pride in this special recognition.”
“Our country would not be what it is today if it weren’t for the strength and resilience of so many Native American heroes who served in our armed forces, including the men and women of Muscogee Creek Nation,” Congressman Mullin said. “The USNS Muscogee Creek Nation will be a well-deserved tribute to the MCN citizens not only in Oklahoma, but across the country and I look forward to the day the ship is in service.”
“The citizens of the Muscogee Creek Nation have consistently demonstrated their commitment to serve and protect in our military,” said Congressman Hern. “The USNS Muscogee Creek Nation rescue ship will serve as a powerful reminder of how the tribe has galvanized their legacy in Navy and Marine Corps history.”
“As an Oklahoman, I’m proud that the Navy named its next Towing, Salvage and Rescue ship after the Muscogee-Creek Nation of Oklahoma, honoring their traditions of service and the contributions of all Native Americans to the armed forces,” Congresswoman Stephanie Bice said.
Read Sen. Inhofe’s letter on the naming of the USNS Muscogee Creek Nation here.