June 15, 2019 07:28 PM
The United States Navy unveiled it's newest ship Saturday, and it's named after the Twin Cities.
A ceremony was held at the only Naval shipyard in the Midwest in Marinette, Wisconsin, just north of Green Bay.
"It was pretty cool, it's awesome man," said Loren Halsey, who attended Saturday's ceremony.
It began with the tradition of breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship's bow, and just like that, she splashed into the water, marking the christening and launch of the USS Minneapolis- Saint Paul.
"This is really a special moment," said Jodi Greene, sponsor of Minneapolis - Saint Paul (LCS 21).
Jodi Greene from Northfield, was Saturday's sponsor and has years of experience in the Navy.
"To see that wave and that ship list over and come back, what a great sense of pride and power and what a beautiful work of art that she is," Greene said. "You just know how incredible it is to be able to have a war ship represent the people of Minnesota."
Greene helped spread the word to veterans all across Minnesota, that a ship would be named to honor those with a history of naval service from the Twin Cities. It's just the second time a ship has been named the USS Minneapolis - Saint Paul after a submarine was commissioned in 1984.
"When I started to tell them about the ship they got all excited," Greene said.
Navy ships are typically named after people, battles, states, but rarely cities. Of the 340 Navy ships, only 42, or 11 percent, are named after cities including now the USS Minneapolis Saint-Paul.
It weighs 3,400 metric tons, or more than 7 million pounds. But moving at speeds north of 40 knots, experts say this littoral ship is designed to complete close to shore missions that other ships can't.
"It just doesn't get old, especially for this ex-Navy seal," said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems.
Generations of veterans took in the ceremony.
"It's a big deal for me personally because I'm a child of Navy veterans. Dad was in the Navy for 24 years, I'm a Coast Guard veteran to be a part of something like this is amazing, It's a furthering of service to my country to be here," Halsey said.
Minnesota may not be connected to an ocean, but this ship is now ready to bring a piece of the Twin Cities all across the world. The USS Minneapolis - Saint Paul will be delivered to the Navy in 2020 and will be based at a port in Florida.
Updated: June 15, 2019 07:28 PM
Created: June 15, 2019 04:17 PM
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