Submarine USS Mississippi To Be Commissioned in PascagoulaBy Rhonda Miller | Published 05 Mar 2012 09:01pm |
A new U.S. Navy submarine, the USS Mississippi, will be commissioned in Pascagoula. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports state leaders say the submarine will proudly carry the name Mississippi around the world.
Gov. Phil Bryant said in Pascagoula Monday he considers the naming of the submarine a reflection of the patriotism of Mississippi residents.
"This great USS Mississippi is a Virginia-class submarine. It is the state-of-the-art, the finest vessel in the United States of America, which means it’s the finest in the world. So I think the reputation and integrity of Mississippi is on display here today."
Only a photo of the submarine was on display, so far. But when the boat arrives for week-long commissioning events, 5,000 visitors are expected on the Gulf Coast.
The USS Mississippi was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. Even though the boat was not built in Mississippi, Pascagoula Mayor Robbie Maxwell said it will be considered part of the region’s family of military vessels.
"We’re very proud shipbuilders here. That’s what we do. That’s what we’ve done since 1938. And so to have an opportunity to have this unique fighting warship is just wonderful."
Eileen Ioffreddo, of Hurley, is a member of a group that supports local submarine veterans, like her husband, who served during Vietnam. She says ceremonies for the new boat will give Mississippians a chance to appreciate its cutting-edge technology.
"Our veterans that were on diesel boats used to have adventures and they'd pull into ports and see the world on their tour of duty. Now the whole nuance of our nuclear submarine crews, they basically go underwater, they don’t pull into foreign ports, they transfer crews now at sea."
The submarine will sail into the Port of Pascagoula on June 2. According to the Naval History & Heritage Command, it is the fifth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Mississippi. The first one was commissioned in 1841 and was lost during the American Civil War.
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