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Crew of USS Sioux City returns to namesake’s city to strengthen bond between the two

(KTIV) – Siouxland has a long tradition of honoring the men and women of the United States military.

Nowhere is that more evident that Sioux City’s relationship with the crew of its namesake ship.

Gold crew Commander Kevin O’Brien spoke to KTIV’s Matt Breen about the crew’s mission seven months after the ship’s commissioning in Annapolis, Maryland.

“The best way to describe it is almost like when you buy a car, it has a warranty. So we have literally been trying out every system that is on the ship: missiles, guns, navigation equipment, engineering equipment and what we call a ‘shakedown’,” said O’Brien. “So we are really putting the equipment through its paces. And if there are any discrepancies, we will be going into a maintenance period. Later on in the year we’ll get those fixed up and come out early next year out of the maintenance period, and then we are a ship in the United States Navy, ready for tasking for whatever the nation calls for us to do.”

O’Brien said when it comes to the USS Sioux City’s coverage area, he said they will travel wherever Naval leadership and the Department of Justice will send them.

“What the ship does is provides them options so what we think about every day is warfare readiness,” said O’Brien. “We train, we have very sophisticated systems, a lot of technology. So every day we think about how to best employ that. We train every day to ensure how we know to take Sioux City, if we have to, into harm’s way.”

For O’Brien, he said a return to Siouxland, “It’s almost like coming home.” The crew will be showing that hometown hospitality by presenting a United States flag flown aboard the ship to city leaders on Friday.

Along with a visit to Camp High Hopes, on Saturday the crew will be throwing out the first pitch at the Sioux City Explorers home game against the Sioux Falls Canaries.

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