MARINETTE, Wis. — Construction of a new Navy combat ship named for the City of Beloit is underway in Marinette.

The ceremonial keel laying took place Wednesday as Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine began work on the USS Beloit.

As part of a ship-building tradition, a worker welded the initials of the ship's sponsor, Retired Major General Marcia Anderson, into a rectangular piece of steel called the keep plate that will be affixed to the vessel, WLUK-TV reported.

Anderson is from Beloit and is the first Black woman to become a major general in the U.S. Army Reserve.

"It's unusual in the fact that we normally name ships and other things after former members of the military, senators, other congress people, mayors, governors or large cities, and that's why this is important for this particular ship to be named the USS Beloit," Anderson said.