USS Sioux City to be commissioned summer 2018

Wednesday, the commissioning committee for the USS Sioux City announced that the commissioning will be in the summer of 2018.

The ship was Christened almost a year ago in Marinette, Wisconsin in a large celebration where the ship hit the water for the first time.

And, in just over a year, it will be commissioned in Annapolis, Maryland. 

"Annapolis has never commissioned a ship, we know in at least 100 years and perhaps longer," said Rear Admiral Frank Thorp, chairman of the USS Sioux City Commissioning Committee. "So, it’ll be a real honor for the ship USS Sioux City to be commissioned there at the home of the Naval Academy, basically the home of the Navy."

A commissioning committee is being put together ahead of the big day. 

"The Commissioning Committee is going to work very hard to make sure that Sioux City sets the standard for a relationship between a ship and her namesake community," said Chris McGowan, president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.

The USS Sioux City is a littoral combat ship, which is a fast, agile, focus-mission ship designed for operations closer to shore than any other naval vessel.

The commissioning is the last major step before the ship is handed over to the Navy.

"I told my family it’s like my daughter’s wedding," said Thorp. "It’s such a big event to put together that I’m really glad we have a year to work with Sioux City and help develop that relationship with the city and the ship that we’re very focused on doing."

Committee members aren’t the only one’s excited for the commissioning. 

"In the Air Force, if you look at every one of our airplanes, you’ll see Sioux City on the tail, and we take that tail everywhere in the entire world," said Col. Larry Christensen, commander of the 185th Air Refueling Wing. "Now that we have a ship that also says Sioux City, that just makes it all the better. It gets the Sioux City name across the entire world."

The USS Sioux City committee announced that it is looking for volunteers to join.

They are also hoping to raise $800,000 for commissioning events, gifts for the ship’s crew and for a legacy fund.

There was also a special surprise during the USS Sioux City announcement Wednesday.

There will be what is called a casket added to the Sioux City Public Museum.

Inside the small box is the bottle the ship’s sponsor, Mary Winnefeld used to Christen the ship last year.

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