USS Litte Rock Commissioning: VIDEO-AUDIO-DETAILS

"Man our ship and bring her to life"

December 16, 2017 - 6:01 pm

Canalside Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - With the order delivered by LCS9 sponsor Janee Bonner, The USS Little Rock was formally commissioned into the U.S, Navy Saturday as 8,500 shivering onlookers gathered at Canalside alongside the new ship and her old namesake in permanent residence at the Buffalo Naval Park.

During the most emotional point of the ceremony steeped in deep Navy tradition, the crew of the new USS Little Rock ran to duty aboard the ship as they took their watches and the visible signs that the ship was now operational could be seen.  An exhilarated crowd cheered on as the transformation took place and the fireboat Cotter patroled in the backdrop and sprayed plumes of water resembling icicle showers.

PHOTOS: USS Little Rock Commissioning

Little Rock Commander Todd Peters described the new ship as "magnificent".  Peters has served on six Navy ships and none is as impressive as the new Little Rock according to the Navy veteran.  "She's sleek, she's agile, she's responsive, she's fast and she's deadly", said Peters in his formal post-commissioning remarks. 

National dignitaries on hand included former Nacy Secretary Ray Mabus and Senator John Boozman or Arkansas and of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodala, Congressman Brian Higgins and Lieutant Governor Kathy Hochul also spoke during the ceremony. 

VIDEO - Complete USS Little Rock Commissioning

Many in the crowd were armed with blankets, parkas and even sleeping bags to withstand the temperateres in the mid 20's and a picturesque snowfall over Canalside.  "It was great, but it would have been even better in July", said one Navy veteran who spoke with WBEN.

The Little Rock won't leave Buffalo until Tuesday and the crew will spend the next couple days readying the ship for a transit through the Welland Canal, St Lawrence Seaway and then down the Atlantic coast to Mayport, Florida, the new ship's home port.

AUDIO:  Complete WBEN Covergae of USS Little Rock Commissioning




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