Final preps for USS Little Rock Commissioning

Local News
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Navy’s newest high-tech cruiser is ready for its close-up. People all around the world will be watching Saturday as the Navy commissions the USS Little Rock LCS 9 state-of-the-art warship.

A little snow and ice on the ship won’t keep history from happening. This will be the first time the Navy commissions a new ship next to its namesake.

“We started this grand adventure in April 2015 hen we were approached with the possibility that Buffalo would be the sight for the commissioning,” Moe Naylon, LCS Committee Chair said.

The meticulous planning will culminate in front of nine-thousand spectactors. “It is absolutely sold out, and tickets are required to come and see the commissioning ceremony itself,” William Shephard, a commissioning committee member explained.

We watched Thursday as the ship’s seventy or so crew members started rehearsals. Last night, they received a hero’s welcome at the Pearl Street Brewery a few blocks away.

Saturday’s ceremony puts the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park in the spotlight as well. Executive Director Brian Roche has helped the ship’s crew get ready. “We’re helping with little logistics things. Things get ordered, and they sent them here because they don’t have an address. We’ve helped them with a bit of planning because they’re out of towners. That’s what we’re good at here,” Roche explained.

Roche suggests this will be more than a national event because it’s never happened before. “What’s even neater about it is the fact that we have a large contingent from the city of Little Rock coming here to participate in this because it is two great cities and one great ship.”

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