DULUTH, Minn. (KBJR) – The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday morning that Duluth will be the commissioning site of the USS Minneapolis–Saint Paul.
“This is really exciting news. This is very unusual. It’s very special for us,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson.
A historic announcement not only for Duluth, but Minnesota as a whole.
“The secretary of the Navy has decided that Duluth will be the commissioning site of the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul,” said Deputy Under Secretary Jodi Greene.
The USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is a nearly 400-foot long littoral combat ship, which Navy officials said can travel 50 miles per hour the water.
“It can go into a lot of locations, so it just gives us a lot of opportunity for the Navy. They’re a critical part of our navy’s fleet,” said Greene.
Bringing the vessel into service is an intricate process. The ship was built in Marinette, Wisconsin. After it was finished, the ship was christened as Navy officials launched it into the water.
And for the last step, people from all over the country will witness the crew board the ship and leave on their first assignment.
“You all will have a chance in the commissioning to see her, to tour her, and you’ll understand what an incredible masterpiece that our littoral combat ships are,” said Greene.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said a vessel hasn’t been commissioned by the U.S. Navy in Minnesota for decades.
“Commissionings normally take place somewhere very remote from its namesake. So being that the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is from Minnesota, the vessel will be commissioned in Duluth and that is incredibly special,” said Larson.
But Larson says Duluth is ready for the honor.
“We will do a terrific job of hosting you and presenting the reverence that the event requires,” said Larson.
Right now, it’s unknown where the vessel will eventually have its home port.
The Department of Defense says the last time a vessel was named Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the vessel was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, and was de-commissioned after serving from 1984 to 2008.
Information on the christening of the new vessel can be found here.
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin