ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (KTIV) – More than six years after the Navy announced its newest warship would bear the name “Sioux City”, we’re on the eve of its commissioning.
On Friday night, Commissioning committee chair Admiral Frank Thorp IV hosted a reception for people from Sioux City, and Annapolis, to thank them for their help is putting together a week’s worth of activities leading up to tomorrow’s commissioning.
KTIV’s Matt Breen spoke with Thorp IV, who has been commissioning the committee for more than two years.
Matt Breen: “Admiral, what does it mean to you as the chairman to know after six years of work, more than six years after the ship was named that we are on the eve of it’s commissioning?”
Admiral Frank Thorp IV: “It’s an incredible feeling of accomplishment. The reaction of people here in Annapolis has been tremendous. The reaction of the people of Sioux City, Matt, I mean I have been out there six times, it’s like it’s a big wedding. It’s got the emotion of a wedding. The crew has been here all week, the people of Sioux City are talking to the crew tonight. They have been treated like royalty here in Annapolis, which is what they deserve. And that is what this is all about. This is all about creating that relationship with the ship that tomorrow becomes the USS Sioux City, and her namesake city and the folks back in Sioux City.”
Breen: “Admiral, at some point tomorrow the sponsor of the ship will say ‘Men of the USS Sioux City, man your ship and bring her to life.’ It sends goosebumps down my spine just saying it.”
Thorp IV: “The toughest, meanest, roughest guy in the world tomorrow will have chills running down their spine. Right now you take a ship, it is a hunk of steel right now, and 100 sailors assigned to it. Tomorrow at 9 a.m. that ship, that hunk of steel will become the USS Sioux City, The flag raises, the crew, the sailors become ‘the crew’ and that ship, those people that have raised their right hand to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America, and from that moment on when the commander and chief says “Go to war,” they go. They train 24/7. It’s precision, it’s high technology, they train all of the time. There’s no getting ready, right? There’s no preseason. It’s game time starting tomorrow. It’s an emotional day tomorrow for the United States of America and really for Sioux City. Because it is all about imbuing a personality and character of Sioux City into this ship. For the people of Sioux City, that is your role, right? That is what you guys have so excitedly and enthusiastically jumped into.
“I just want to tell you in Sioux City from me, thank you,” continued Thorp IV. “It has been an incredible experience. I have to admit, I am really, really excited for tomorrow, but I am really sad. For the last two years, it has been a great ride me, and it comes to an end. It will be a memory of a lifetime. And I want to thank you Matt and everyone back in Sioux City for all of the great support you have given us, and I know you will do for the next 30 years. Be there for the ship, they need you. They really, really need you every day.”
KTIV’s Matt Breen will be live from Annapolis throughout the week. Stay tuned to News 4 for the latest updates on the commissioning. You can also follow Matt’s updates on the commissioning on Twitter.