USS Minneapolis – Saint Paul to be commissioned in Duluth Saturday

(ABC 6 News) – Duluth is no stranger to large vessels coming and going. In fact, the Twin Ports of Duluth/Superior see about 900 ships in and out of the port each shipping season.

Saturday, Duluth will host a special ceremony, making history for the State of Minnesota, with the U.S. Navy commissioning its newest vessel the LCS 21 named the USS Minneapolis/Saint Paul, in the port of Duluth.

This is the first time a U.S. Navy vessel of any kind has been commissioned, not just in Duluth, but anywhere in the State of Minnesota.

This ship is one of the Freedom-Class Littoral Combat Ships, or LCS, which are fast, agile vessels, able to operate in near-shore environments.

"We’re happy to be able to sail all these areas, and this is just proof that we can access so many different venues around the world," said Commanding Officer Alfonza White.

Getting to those different venues pretty quickly, as fast as 50 miles per hour.

"It is definitely cool to drive. Think of a Corvette on the highway," Cmdr. White added.

"I was surprised and excited, or course, being able to come in my backyard and bring a U.S. Navy Ship up here," said executive officer, Commander Bryan Kemmitz.

The commissioning will take place 10 a.m. Saturday, ABC 6 News will be live streaming the event.