Bassett will do our state proud

Last week, the United States Navy commissioned the USS Manchester, a combat ship, that continues the service’s use of “littoral” combat ships, something it began in 2008.

The Manchester will be the seventh such ship in what is known as the Independence Class, described as a program to develop a multi-role ship that could operate in littoral waters – waters close to shore, engage enemy submarines, clear mines, destroy fast attack boats, deploy unmanned vehicles and perform a variety of other missions by fitting them with mission modules according to situational requirements, according to the Navy.

That’s quite a sum of its duties.

That the commissioning came just a few days after Memorial Day should make it even more memorable for the 71 officers and enlisted personnel who will take the Manchester to sea under the eye of Cmdr. Emily Bassett, who is continuing the too-recent history of women commanders.

It is not surprising that there have been relatively few women on the bridge, given that the Navy only let women go to sea in 1978. There is a big difference between a female ensign acting as a public information officer and a female commander taking the conn and giving the order to fire or launch an anti-submarine rocket.

But they can, they have, and they will continue to command ships.

She will, we believe, do herself, the Navy, her ship and the people of New Hampshire proud.