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Duluth to Host Commissioning of USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul

The USS Minneapolis Saint Paul will be commissioned in Duluth. The USS Minneapolis Saint Paul will be commissioned in Duluth. |  Photo: USS Minneapolis Saint Paul Commissioning Team

Updated: July 17, 2019 03:46 PM

The USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is still being built in Marinette, Wisconsin. But once she's ready for sea, she'll be brought to Duluth for the important commissioning ceremony. 

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Mayor Emily Larson and Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, Jodi Greene, made the announcement on the steps of city hall on Wednesday.

"Just christened last month, the littoral combat ship is designed to operate in more areas than a typical Navy ship, including shallow water near the coastline," explained Greene. "The chance to commission the ship in beautiful Lake Superior is an amazing opportunity. A way for all Minnesotans to be proud and share this incredible time."

Larson added, "The Navy has not commissioned a vessel in Minnesota for decades. And normally they take place far from their namesake. This will be historic for Duluth and Minnesota."

The exact date will be worked out once the ship is finished. But the city anticipates it will be sometime in the next 12-16 months.

Commissioning is the final step before the vessel goes into service. The crew and their families will be here, and then the sailors will take off on their first assignment.

"We are proud to have this ship's journey into service start in Duluth," Larson said.

It is Navy Week in Duluth. The Zenith City is one of 14 cities hosting Navy Week in 2019. There are about 50 sailors in town doing different activities in our community. Nine of them will serve on the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

"The intent now is to imbue the spirit of Minnesota into the crew, so they can carry that into the ship," said Greene. 

She added that there are 3500 Minnesotans serving in the Navy, and 3600 Navy retirees in Minnesota. She is from Northfield.

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