DULUTH, MN– 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-St. Paul,” said Deputy Under Secretary Jodi Greene.
The USS Minneapolis-St. 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 where it got the keel name of USS Minneapolis St. Paul back in 2017.
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-St. 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 be docked.
But, the ship will be commissioned in the next year or year and a half.
10:30 a.m. — The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday morning that Duluth will be the commissioning site of the USS Minneapolis – Saint Paul.
The vessel, which Navy officials say is 389 feet long and can travel 50 mph on the water, is a littoral combat ship (LCS).
The ship was christened on Saturday, June 15 in Marinette, Wisconsin, which is also the building site.
According to the Navy, only 73 vessels bear the name of a city.
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.
At this time, it is unknown where the vessel will be docked; however, the ship will be commissioned in the next 12 to 16 months.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson says a vessel hasn’t been commissioned by the U.S. Navy in Minnesota for decades.
You can watch the announcement above.
For information on the Minneapolis – Saint Paul, click here.
Information on the christening of the vessel can be found here.
10 a.m. — City officials say Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, as well as Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy Jodi Greene, will be speaking at 10 a.m. at City Hall.
The event is part of Navy Week in Duluth.
Check back for updates.
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin