USS Little Rock commissioning

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Saturday, December 16th

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If coverage of the historic commissioning of the USS Little Rock on news radio 930 WP EN buffalo. And a very good morning to you from canal side buffalo I'm Tim Wagner in with Susan rose here and we have been here since about 8 o'clock this morning Susan and were called very. It's called it called yet sure could and it's not snowing and it really if if you're gonna do commissioning in buffalo and it's going to be in December I think we're doing OK as far as weather is concerned. Victory today. Stressed as if it is ski. You bet and we're gonna go right up to the podium here they got under way just a moment before 11 o'clock we're gonna listen and and throughout the ceremony will popularly you know what's going on visually. What we have about 8500 people here were told by the navy official a few minutes though 8500 people. So let's go to the podium this is the commissioning of USS Little Rock alive and WP yen. Moment of silence here apparently from the. Mr. Monet on chairman. Barack commissioning committee city of buffalo. These are formal introduction got away Tommy Franks of the chairman. Little Rock commissioning committee city of Little Rock. As you listen here on the radio I reminders that it WB Ian timeout just live video feed nicely today that you will programs and you're watching C what's going on here so that's available at WPN dot com as well as our FaceBook page. FaceBook. WP you know I'm sorry FaceBook account slash WP you know 88930. Shutter. It's all happening at canal side and we're listening to the formal introductions here at the commissioning of the USS little. On Johnston the United States navy. Commander we'll Tora combat ship squadron to. Mr. Francisco let's say president and CEO. Think in Jerry marine group. Mr. Joseph DiPietro. Vice president. Small combatants and ship systems. Lockheed Marten. Integrated warfare systems and sensors. Graham or John mentally the United States navy. Program executive officer for the tore combat ships. Ms. Gloria velvet guys deputy assistant secretary of the navy. Ships. General marks total one. Mayor city of Little Rock, Arkansas. They're announcing right now the platform gas that are. I'd joining the stage here to bring the events that are going to hold over the next hour so we're also told that this may go quicker than we expected. They initially set a ninety minute ceremony but we've been hearing this morning that it may be closer to an hour. That may have something to do with the the weather here as I spoke with its interest in one of the navy officials are standing right behind us them. Who is we met during the tour the other day he's here from San Diego and it's quite a a change in weather and I asked him just a few moments ago so when you going back to San Diego he said as soon as this and since rental car will be pointed at the airport so. This is a rude awakening we are talking to the audio visual people this morning to who're. Really being climate ties they said they interestingly they they did a commissioning in Alaska. And it was warmer than it was here. He left and they ask us a bit about that so it now. OK for our visa official welcome Cindy introductions continue here. As you can imagine there are an awful lot of people it is sub congressman Brian Higgins walked by Sanofi. Walking up onto the the podium here Christian personalities here there and lots of local officials everybody is on their feet there's a large. We're we're situated right in the middle there is almost like a VIP area in front of us we're. People are all standing then there's this area where we are in the middle of canal side and they cobblestone street that you're probably accustomed to and then behind us large. Area of seating with the few thousand. It also has a high definition. Video board as well that they can watch the entire proceedings. Right after they did the platform gas they will be presenting the colors and we'll get to the implication and welcome. And the ship really looks cold as that is we look up at the the LCS nine is it's known. It is just unbelievable as dusting of snow on the side of the ship. Probably the last time it'll see this kind of weather I think for the foreseeable future let's listen them so. Platform ready. And France the colors. Now you're looking at the flag the official flag. Four. The united states of course and easy. Being presented center stage here alongside. The USS little room. And the navy band playing in the background we saw them arrive this morning certainly cold days. Tough for anyone who's played a musical interest instrument. In their past you can understand how cool that is. For them to do that but we continue with the commissioning here at canal side buffalo. I'm news radio 930 WB ENN. Retire the callers. Now the flag therapy marched off stage right now following the National Anthem the dignitaries all gathered. On the stage. The only covered portion of this entire thing is where they're standing right now on this stage. Which is right along the port through the left side stern. Of the USS Little Rock there's beautiful red light blue bunting there. And that is the helicopter deck. That they're standing immediately in front of here. As the USS Laura has also just a light very very light snowfall hits just started over house. It is omelet says that snow globe that we've heard so much. Across this region over the past week or so that's exactly what we're seeing now back to the podium now. I'm WB yen and the commissioning coverage of the USS the program. Here we haven't. Joining me now in prayer. We gather. In the city of lights. The city of good neighbors. The city of buffalo. State and naval tradition from the battle of Lake Erie. To the creation of the Erie Canal. It was during this battle that Oliver hazard Perry uttered the words. Don't give up the ship. And we have met the enemy. And they are ours. Today we add a new phrase. Back with a vengeance. We come here this morning to commission and present this warship. The USS Little Rock to the nation for service. Defending the arsenal of democracy. She represents the collective efforts of thousands of people pursuing their vocation is stewards of New York yes. We invoke your blessing upon the men and women of Lockheed Martin led LCS team. Dinkins here marine group. The naval architect Gibbs and Cox. And more than 800. Suppliers in 42 states. We thank you for their efforts. Ain't no way. I think of their efforts. As this ship comes alive. And is put to the test of service to the fleet. Bless this ship. And that generations of C service personnel who will serve and her. We are grateful today. For the presence of the ship's sponsor. Missed today Bonner. We pray that they ship. And herb below one goal of crew will be the first to taker to see. And those who follow. Will live up to the highest standards of our navy. May they USS little rockers. And her crew. Become. An embody. The values of honor courage and commitment. And may we who serve. Along those and viewed with the sacred public trusts. Always engaged this ship. In the pursuit of honorable. And lasting peace. And preserve the tranquility. Of all nations. All men. Thank you Chapman last mar. Would guess please be seated. Ship's company. Already. Rest. Ladies and gentlemen the honorable Kathleen hall. Welcome. I and so delighted to be here today. The day has finally arrived in the waiting for this for years. And on behalf of the governor of the State of New York Andrew Cuomo and the people of our great state we could not be more overjoyed. To finally have this they arrived. I hope no one promised you warm weather. But I can promise New York greeted with warm hearts. Steep did friendship. And a sense of history. For forever going mistake floored we are bound together. The State of New York. The state of Arkansas the city of buffalo the city of lady or Little Rock. In a deep appreciation. For the men and women of our military. And we are so honored. To feel they have this occur. This hallowed ceremony. In our midst. And it was reference that the first commissioning occurred two months after our navy was born it was December. A 1775. And I would like to point out that first commissioning also call occurred in December. So it is not. At odds with our great history was it December in Philadelphia. And we are rep relate to them I'll make a couple of observations very quickly I wanna. Send my regards to the entire platform committed in many elected officials. The men and women here. During my time as a member of the house representatives on the armed services committee we often spoke about the military other future. Ladies and gentlemen. The future has arrived. We are witnessing. The future of our military which is leaner smarter more technologically advanced than ever before. And so it is with great pride again. But I welcome you. Give you thanks for joining us this momentous occasion. And with. Our gratitude. Go our prayers. Because we know. That we sleep under the security blanket every night. Without a care because of the brave men and women particularly in our navy who'll go around this season the world. To thwart terrorism. And it is Revver they lie. And we'll know that that ship goes with the love of the people of buffalo in the State of New York. And we wish them God's speed and god bless America thank you very much. I'll also comment that I have a very long proclamation which I'm willing to read. If this is occurring in July we have not hurt you in deference to all of you it looks like a very cold Buffalo Bills game. I'll just simply put that aside and say he's angry so the government. People that raised in New York. Thank you very much. Thank you lieutenant governor hopeful. Ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Dodik future. Well we are taking care of the cold jokes I'll get right into the speech so we get warmed up soon. Distinguished guests ladies and gentlemen good morning. What a great navy day and what a great day for the cities of little rock and buffalo. Before beginning my remarks I want to pause or recognized all over United States navy sailors in attendance today. We would not be here were it not for their steadfast partnership. With our industry team has enjoyed with you. Thank you for your service and all you do appear country. I like to credit congratulate. And think should sponsored mission name on. Commander Peters the little cry out Little Rock crew the commissioning committee. And all of the volunteers who work tires sleep to make today's event the success. It's my privilege today to represent the entry team of Lockheed Marten. Think in theory Marron Amorim and gives in Cox that designed and built the remarkable warship EC behind us. Initially team has invested in the heels he has program and they ship. It took over one million man hours to construct the USS Little Rock. And I would be remiss to not recognize our teens 121500. Dedicated workers and suppliers. Especially the 2000 plus men and women. That work in Meriden marine. Their hard work over the past four years made it possible to transform roars steel. Into the capable warship EC today. Today we had the privilege of commissioning the second warship bearing the name Little Rock. In the shadow of the decommission namesake. A first in the 242. Year history of our US navy. The new USS little rockets flexible. Capable tough and resilient surface combatant. She'll also be a workhorse. Tasking out. And carrying out the essential missions of anti surface warfare. Anti submarine warfare and mine countermeasures along with many other missions that are talented and experienced crews demanded her. With small while smaller than the original Little Rock. The news USS Little Rock can be rapidly reconfigured. And it's capable calling everything from MH sixty Romeo helicopters. To unmanned systems that can operate above and below the sea. A large portion. Of the ship's capabilities come from the immigration of these mission systems including those of MH sixty Romeo helicopter. Built right here in upstate New York. Soon the USS Little Rock in our crews will be called upon to serve the interest of our United States around the world we take great pride in knowing that this warship. We'll so people we represent the United States and the great city of Little Rock around the world. Commander Peters commander Mitchell. Members of the Little Rock crew on behalf of the LCS industry team it is our extraordinary honor to be your presence today. And to play a role in supporting your critical missions. The power of this industry team stands behind me V. And the crews that sale upon these ships we wish you godspeed. Fair winds and following seas thank you. Thank you missed it to feature. Ladies and gentlemen ramrod John Knightley. Hello. It. A new war. The future you Laura Celsius. Senator Bozeman representations. On the column. Ours the new York and Arkansas State and local officials. Secretary Mavis and bonuses brought it in the great fielders in marine. Iron Lockheed Martin. Welcome and thank you are here to support of the navy. Especially thanks appreciate it his name Bonner the right sponsor. For dedication and support for the crew and their families. I also want to especially thank Clorox missing committee but tires they planned this race right today. Your pride vessels in the tension the tail there like in every aspect that is there. You've been the extra effort to make this overs but. You know civilians always been part of our nation's history. When the first six frigates USS Little Rock today. It totally nation's blood. There's no prouder profession. Or more important work. There's no better shipbuilding team in the team that is destructive buys it it's just behind me today. As we gathered today in the shadow of the original US has the right. It's constructed during World War II. I'm struck by new. Seat of the naval missions. While separated by more than seven years of navy history technology. These cute names sake ships will conduct markedly similar operational missions. As many you know the original Little Rock with first light cruiser that burden to guide this warship batsman the ball for new report the boy. The ship conducted side in the Caribbean and Dorsey with American allies partners navy's showing the flag operations across Latin America and it. Insuring unfettered access to the world of thousands of waterways. And serie a league wide. Today we commission newest Little Rock. Demolish it and technology they're vastly different this Little Rock wheelchairs strong operational connection to. LCS yes sir I demand operate port. Freedom Fort Worth Coronado involved Lloyd operated or himself these days video are. Protecting our national interests by building part insuring our experience C control. Thinker players world. With their eyes be civil address the flexible model payloads. LCS's access to far more regions of ports. Laws are larger capital ships operate and do their missions. So although the technology is involves the original rock these is if all we hear a common operational broad based on during the it will miss. Being bored closely excised now operating daylight partners in the eighties during the brief hello Olmert. Four president's as the foundation he can throw the foundation everything we do in the name is more important. Today and so commander theaters. Congratulates you and your crew is Little Rock obviously answers plea today. I know you'll bring legacy of justice will Barack back with a vengeance as you park on any new missions jones'. And remember the real combat power initiative. On America's best and writes. Incredible men and women who manned fighter. Sailor's arm way. And I know under your leadership or rock logo mark we've. Thank you re arm innately. Ladies and gentlemen ms. Gloria validate us. Thank you to senator both men represented to Higgins. And hill. Secretary Mavis. And rough and mrs. rapid our sponsors shenae honor mayors rounds to dole out. Local government officials. To commander Peters and the officers and crew of Little Rock our distinguished guests. Until all of you who have come today to buffalo to witness the commissioning of this magnificent ship good morning. As we celebrate today is an honor for me to represent the secretary of the navy Richard Spencer and commissioning of this great ship Little Rock. And it is appropriate that we remember and say thank you to the thousands of deployed. Sailors Marines soldiers and airmen. Along with their families are sacrificing so much to keep this great nation free. Until all the veterans in this audience today thank you to bring your service. I would also like to thank society is sponsors president Alan rocket for your tireless efforts. And organizing distinguished ladies and has taken part in the time honored tradition. A sponsoring naval ships including the Little Rock. Sponsors play an important and unique role for the navy they become ill lasting part of each ship's history. While the crew of the ship will change many times over the course of the ship's life the sponsor remains the same. I would also like to thank the entire Little Rock commissioning committee who worked so hard to arrange this event. Which marks the transition. Of a ship under construction. To a powerful we'd ask that. Ready and equipped to defend our freedoms around the world. And to the men and women Lockheed Marten think Terry marine Aaron at marine the supervisor of shipbuilding. And the navy program office. You have labored tirelessly to build this extraordinarily capable ship and I congratulate you on another job done well. Since the founding of our navy many ships have been named for cities and states as a reflection. Of the greatness of America. And the spirit and ingenuity of the American people. Today we have the great honor to follow on that tradition with the commissioning of Little Rock. As she navigates the sees the ship we commission today will represent America. And she will serve as an inspiration around the world. The name Little Rock also represents the people who have called Little Rock. And the great state of Arkansas home. Proud Americans who have contributed in many ways to strengthening our navy and Marine Corps team. Arkansas has a rich history in sport our nation's freedom with 25 medal of honor recipients. And Little Rock in particular is the home of Little Rock air force base and the birthplace of general Douglas. Little Rock is a shining example of our nation strive for excellence and also honors the memory of the ship and crews. Who proudly served our nation under the name sake Barack previously. Including secretary Mavis. Today's commissioning marked the second ship to carry the Pratt name Little Rock. The first Little Rock World War II cruiser served with distinction until being decommissioned in 1976. And today just as you learned she lives. On as a museum right here in buffalo. The adaptability. Speed and maneuverability designed to end to this littoral combat ship. We ensure that the newest Little Rock honors her namesake as she empowers our sailors and Marines to protect our great nation. Commander Peters congratulations. To you on your Simon as commanding officer this fine vessel. Our nation is entrusted you with our finest worship and charged you with preparing your crew proceed. Taking Little Rock around the world building partnerships. Protecting our interests answering the call what an awesome task. And I am confident that you and your crew are ready for the challenge. Officers and crew on Iraq as you bring your ship to life today you are also blessed with a wonderful sponsor. Mrs. shenae potter. Take heat serve honorably and protect Tennessee's. Until all who are present today we are indeed privileged to witness the introduction of this exceptional ship into our navy. Thank god bless her her crew her sponsor may god bless America. Thank you. Thank you miss about this. Ladies and gentlemen the honorable Byron brown. Today is we commission the USS Little Rock LCS nine. It is a day of pride and thanks. We are thankful. To the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the US military. We are proud of commander Peters. The command staff and crew of the USS Little Rock. And thankful. For them to their service for our. Country. Air service to our nation. This is a time of great transformation. In the city of buffalo its its commissioning takes place we are experiencing. Billions of dollars in development in the city and we are so proud to have this opportunity. To be able to show off the progress. That is taking place in the city of buffalo. The area. Where the former US has Little Rock rafts. At the buffalo and Erie county naval and military power. Is in a growing and dynamic area of the city of buffalo. Where literally millions of people visit our community. From across the region. The nation and internationally. We're very thankful today. For all of the federal. The state. And the local officials. From the state of new York and the state of Little Rock who were here for this commission. This is a historic day for our nation. This is the first time is you know in the 242. Year history of the US navy that a warship has been commission along side its namesake. The former USS Little Rock. Again I say congratulations. To commander Peters the command staff and the crew. God bless. The United States of America and god bless the USS Laura. Thank you Merrill brown. Ladies and gentlemen. Beyond Breaux mart stores. This is my US mayor of Little Rock now probably buffalo mayor Byron brown eyes and pretend with our coverage. The commissioners that the US has little rocking and WP yen to secretary Mavis. And particularly to all of you here from buffalo. I am happy to bring greetings from the citizens of Little Rock. On behalf of the citizens of the city of Little Rock in North Little Rock. Like to say what an honor it is. That the advanced sophisticated and Agile combat ship located behind me. We'll carry that name Little Rock in defending democracy and freedom throughout the world. Beyond that though. It is the crew who will mamet vessels that bring true honor to our city's name. You've come from all walks of life and all areas or amazing country united in your dedication to protecting America and all the she stands for. As you and those who come after you sale. You can be confident. In knowing that the thoughts and prayers of the great and gracious people of Little Rock will be traveling with you. A large contingent of our citizens have traveled here to buffalo today to reinforce that commitment. And there's an even larger group that have gathered in Little Rock where the ceremony is being streamed live to be here with us in spirit. Is a testament of our dedication. To use and to the crew. I offer my thanks to mr. Mona island on the buffalo commissioning committee. The mayor brown and the people of buffalo Breuer hard work and posting. These commissioning ceremonies. And I certainly want to thank the dedicated group of people in little rock and or Barack. Who have worked on our Little Rock mainstay committee and supported. Including our chairman Tom prints or vice chairman John gill and rob Fuller. As well as our coordinator Ron Maxwell and all the others who have dedicated. Their time and their resources to making this success. I know that this ship. As the resiliency. The determination. And the tenacity of little rock and its hall. And in this mission systems. And though I suspect for the enemy. At least a little less southern hospitality. Commander Peters a group I know you'll be back with a vengeance. Please note that a piece of the ship and its crew is in each of us as well. Thank you and god bless the US has Little Rock. And god blesses group. Thank you mirrors total. Ladies and gentlemen the honorable Brian Higgins. Greetings to everybody and thank you Q mayor for loan and the tech governor Kathy local. Senator John Boozman. And demo an ailing for his leadership and all of this today. We honor our veterans of all. Conflicts. Particularly. Our World War II veterans. You know. During bulwark she was a very different time. Our allied forces hit one of the greatest military victory in human history. You know our veterans didn't treated it into a victory dance they didn't spike the ball they didn't high five. They were just grateful. That it was over. And they wanna just to be worthy. The peace. The United States created international organizations. To keep the world to protect it from purity. We gave Western European countries. About a 150 billion dollars to rebuild Europe after World War II in their vision not ours. And we also. Took care of our old. In 1944 the services readjustment act otherwise known as the GI bill. Said to millions of returning veterans. That you can go to college. You can buy a whole. You can start a business. It it was good for the good that it did. But it also fundamentally. Transformed the American economy from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge based. Economy. And a big part. Of post World War II. In the Korean War with NATO. In the ship and its predecessor. With the environment. To keep. The peace. It basically said wherever this flag is flown bad at the United States. From sea to shining. Sea. We. As Americans. Keep our commitments and we take care of our home. So today. The days to get things for many things I think you. For the opportunity you gave me. To represent this community in the United States congress. We give thanks. To the men and women of the American military for their service and their sacrifice. Only. For the people in the nation that they law. And finally we get things to got a nation. I got a nation that makes this day and all of our days possible. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas you'll thank you. Thank you represented an arrogance. Ladies and gentlemen by several McCollum. Well good morning. And as secretary Mavis welcome back to the assist over Iraq. And mammal rook had a welcome back home. Now we have the V 31 chief of naval operations. I welcome you to this ceremony. At the privilege to stand personal greetings to develop our cantons that are here. And those watching out via live stream. A special thanks to mr. Malone ailing chairman the USS Little Rock commissioning. We really like to say thank you to that because we know that ticket great effort to pull together and certainly don't want Tom prize. Chairman of the namesake committee. It's your time and effort certainly. Bears a lot of fruit today. The crew known as the little rockers. Added three short side little rockers with commander Peters at him. As the crew raced back raced here to beat the ice clock many you know what that means. What I mean by short subtle rockers is that three members. Of the crew. Welcome babies into the world well done well rockers. At the core. Of this ceremony is the actual commissioning. And it's accommodation to the team than navy team. In the navy team is sailor. It's civilians. And a dedicated patriots who banded together. To make what is behind this happen. And it's only fitting right here in buffalo. The city of good neighbors. To be standing here that we put this in commit in commission. This commission is the culmination. Of craftsmanship. Of ship builders and our seasons. An incredible milestone for the crew house say for the crew. Hard work and the full realization that this day has actually come. I look for a combat ships. Or a key components. Of the fight now in the future. We need our navy to operate. Far. Away as well as at home. And we see examples every day that in this increasingly fast pace complex environment. Interconnected world that residence matters in the US as well rock will contribute to that presence. Tips like a Little Rock will operate four were much of our navy cannot. In the shallow and a look world and with speed and with lethality. And after today. This ship warhead out her home port it may pork. In later next year she will deploy and go in harm's way at the tip of the spear in our challenging environment. In a few moments. We will formally place the ship in commission. And as our sailors the lifeblood of our navy. Run aboard her heart will start beating. If forever capturing. The spirit. Toughness. And patriotism. Of white represents the core of our navy our sailors. Commander Peters in the crew who will take this ship over the hot horizon too distant corners and keep our nation's agency here. We see a thing keeper winds and following seas and thank you. I'd like to introduce our next speaker. And I see resident myself and a wonderful state of Arkansas the last forty years it's a distinct president. And pleasure for myself to be here to introduce. A great friend of the military and veterans community senator John Bozeman was first elected the United States and it. In 2010. Worries are currently serves as a member of the senate veteran affairs committee previously he served the people of the third district of Arkansas. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome senator John Bolton for the great state of Arkansas. Thank you so much distinguished guests. United Bonner. Mayors to Ottawa mayor brown. Matters Smith may be leaders. The crew of the US this Little Rock. Military families. And especially our veterans. Thank you so much for your service. And all you represent. I'm proud to be would you. Apply it to crack. And play out I'm proud to do it all of you to mark this occasion. On behalf of the citizens of Arkansas. It's an honor to have were one of the navy's more versatile. Warships maimed after a State's capital. The flagship city of Arkansas. This is an exciting day for the city of our own Little Rock disgrace on the PR Kansas you're here to share that. To celebrate the commissioning of the USS wheel wrong. This is a very important to the community I know something that citizens across this site are taking great pride in. US over rocks look logo. Features one of the most recognizable. Images associated. Where the Arkansas the razorbacks. University of Arkansas football team was given that and I met the head coach at that time. Says the team played like a much of operation back. I'm confident this crude. Known as the war logs. Will carry on that same work ethic. I'm also confident that the crew members. Don't already know how to call the hogs. The or not gonna do that we can't because you have to have spirit fingers I think my fingers are about all law we do much of that. It's being more than. For decades. Since may be had a ship named after the city of little rock and again we are thrilled to be changing that now. Today as is being mentioned marks the first time in the history of the united. Bishop is being commissioned. Alongside her in hindsight. During this time is a light cruiser and there's a guided missile cruiser. There originally USS Moroccans chrome. Revival that defeating growing threats. Thousands of sailors. Served aboard the precious Little Rock including. Former secretary of navy. Right in my office. And again so good to have you here and and I know insisting with the secretary. The the serving aboard Barack had a profound effect on me and and I know world so many others that are about so. I'm confident that the crew of the new US this Little Rock will create many fond memories of their own. I've enjoyed following below the US Barack crew on his journeys from training. Drills and inspections the visit to Arkansas the trip to the bill's guys in its offices VA hospitals. The updates we've seen displayed. Your dedication and commitment. To this ship and its operational capability. As well as some defense of our nation. It's hard to believe that is nearly two and a half years. Since I attended the christening of the ship and learned that this balance. Today is the culmination. Of years of planning designing construction. I'm grateful for the men in the women. They can carry marionette marine shipyard in Lockheed Marten. There continue to ensure our navy Israeli death it's today's threats. And tomorrow's challenges. The US this Little Rock is a critical component. Overnight receive power leadership in the strength and resolve of the world crude. Is the future of the united. Offering unique capabilities to defend. Evolving threats around the globe. In order to protect our national security. The navy has to have the resources it needs to stay ahead of the threats. We also need the resources to work toward the goal with 355. Ship fleet. Achieving this larger more capable place we'll take decades to come play. But congress is making it harder than it needs stability. Because of the way that we are there any taxpayer dollars. For nearly a decade. Congress responded the government by passing continuing resolutions. Follow later in the year. By larger spending packages instead of improving our individual appropriations bills. Finding the government. Is a basic responsibility of Washington. It's an obligation that my colleagues and I on the senate Appropriations Committee take very seriously. As we craft the appropriations bills. Set priorities and make difficult decisions. As to how to spend taxpayer dollars lies. We ought to our service members. Their families of all Americans. We go to the crew of the US this little wrong. That we as Republicans and Democrats and this is not a partisan issue this isn't about Democrats and Republicans not agreeing. This is something that we simply have to fix. Admittedly a Little Rock is not one of the places that you think. When you mention the navy. Cities like Norfolk San Diego Pensacola. Likely come to mind. But Arkansas has a long tradition of proud tradition. Of defending our nation. And now that commit more continued. As the USS Little Rock embarks on upcoming missions. That long histories being preserved. In the Arkansas military veterans hall. I've been honored to participate in the induction ceremony last seven years. The seven classes of the whole time one of the first inductees. Was in the navy fighter. Bernard Dunne. He enlisted in the memories are in 1940 twos commission. Called active duty as an aviation cadet and commission dissonance in 1940 through. He became a nice solid earnings through distinguished flying crosses and four air medals. During his service in the Pacific during World War II. There's also honored with the national naval air aviation. Museum in Pensacola Florida. We certainly are very very proud of this behavior read the book or seen the movie true grit. It's about a young girl when yell county Arkansas. Mattie Ross. Who persuades Marshal rooster cog burn. The Fort Smith, Arkansas. To go after the murder of her father. She sort of she sought out rooster cog burn because he had true grit. Bernard Dunne. Before or salute the people serving. On the USS will Iraq. If true grit. Willing to do whatever their country asks. Ordinary people. Doing extraordinary things for this we are so so very proud. Irsay doesn't border notion but now the State Capitol once again. Have a place on the high seas. This is a tremendous honor of the city of little rock. And I know that ship and its crew will make Arkansas around. Congratulations. And I got bullish view of our country and the US missile. Thank you. Thank senator Bozeman. By several column be honored if you place Little Rock in commission. On behalf. But the secretary of the navy. And for the president of the United States. I hereby place. The United States Xia. Little Rock. In commission. May god bless. A guide this warship. And all. Who sailed. In her. Thank you vice admiral Michael. Executive officer poised to colors of the commission Pettit. I served. The raw politics bit. Ladies and gentlemen please rise. I direct your attention to the ship's mast as we watch the callers and the commission and it. Quarter master. Or the colors and the commission it. So. Captain. The colors and commission headed off flying over USS and Iraq. Well. Ladies and gentlemen please be seated. I now read my orders. From chief of navy personnel to commander Todd deep Peter's United States navy subject keepers orders number 0347. When directed by reporting seniors him duties as commanding officer pre commissioning unit Barack producing conjunction with thinning out. Upon misting of justice the Iraq report for duty as commanding officer. By several McCollum USS Clorox in commission and I am in command. Executive officer set the watch. I serve. Also today. Set the first watch. There. The officer of the deck is the commanding officers that Rick representative. And while on watch is responsible for the safest move operation of the ship and her group. Along west is the traditional symbol of an officer of the X authority in a ship of the line. We are today to have our buffalo committee chairman missed the most laid on here to assist in setting our first watch. You pass our ships long glass offers officer of the deck lieutenants and courses. Of its populous Michigan. The petty officer of the watch is damage control patrolman second class Victor Sanchez. But Stockton California. The messenger of the watch this culinary specialist second class Jessica Polanski. Burgers town Pennsylvania. And the hoses made on the watch it's both Mae chief Ian how's Brooklyn New York. Not a lot on deck there's one. There are lots said. Very well. It down next will be marine captain the ship still watches it. Well. We are delighted to have our sponsor mr. today on here that's today. The spotter christened the ship in Merritt at Wisconsin on July 18 2015. Today I would be honored if you would join me and give the order to man our ship and bring her to life. Thank you so much honor and privilege to be here with you now like it yet the great order. Officers and rail of USS Little Rock man our ship out and Braveheart your life. And that what you're seeing here if you were here would be all of these sailors now are running to the ship. To board the ship the USS Little Rock which is committed to watch as we've said. And all of the Steelers are now running forward. And we will bring this ship more belief the life of radar. Bars have now begun to spot around. Flags are now. Going up is well is. We continue to. Watch the official commissioning of the USS right here. Packet outside of buffalo really. Ceremony that is just keep this incredible tradition. How is the background the USS positive. Buffalo fire boat is spraying will be unbelievably in these conditions. Water. Water cannons are now in the buffalo harbor as well broadly. USS Carter. Well we'll fire boat we're watching maybe. Staff that even. Officers now all stating his hand along side. They do the convention USA or Iraq is our coverage continues here on these radio thirty. Don't you PE NN were also up but FaceBook lives now as well for anyone. It has definitely right now he concedes that he would happen here the entire span of the USS Little Rock. Now with TV. Officers. And invested in all if their formal uniforms with those. What happened. And their dark suits or uniforms I should say. Find the entire port side left side of the USS rock calling her feet 310 feet. Here. And outside buffalo. From this point. There will be a report to duty. Commanding officer's comments from the commander Todd Peters. You go already heard some words from. Snow flying here is well canal side just a pretty snow the snow globe type snowfall here in the backdrop. Not really a dampening the muhtar cooling the mood I don't think people certainly there cold that. Now we're listening to some of the sounds of the ship. And before our eyes and ears the USS Little Rock is coming to light. Some of the weaponry behind some of the end naval officers now is in motion. We saw those radar bars begin to us swing a few moments ago and now one though. Large weapons on the stern of the chip just above via helicopter deck is now. In motion. Ladies and gentlemen. Approve of the USS Barack. Salutes. You. We are proud to serve your great maybe. Ready. Ladies and gentlemen please be seated. Absolutely the most moving portion of this so far. Was that bringing the ship to life you saw here and heard all of those navy officers and crew dashing out to the ship the water canons of the Cotter says you are right back. And and ready. Very well. Collar Johnson. USS Little Rock is manned and ready and reports for duty. Well. By federal McCollum. Request permission to break your flag. Executive officer break the flag of the chief of naval reserve. I answer. Auto master rate the flag its name reserve. All eyes are. Captain. The flags of achievement reservists flying over your assessment Iraq. Well. Ladies and gentlemen commander Todd B heaters commanding officer the United States ship look Iraq. LCS nine. Barack parade rest. Distinguished platform participants honored guests. Families friends. Ladies and gentlemen and most of all to all the current and former roller rockers. It is our Fletcher to have you here with us this morning as we bring the fine name and proud legacy of USS Barack back to the fleet. Back with a vengeance. Before I get in in my remarks I would ask everyone take a moment now to take a good look at our ship. She is magnificent. I've been a sailor all my life. And I've been fortunate to serve in six different ships. I love them all but none of them more so than this one. Little Rock has everything it's elegant one. She sleek she's at Giles she's responsive she's fast and she's deadly. As a matter of fact there is only one woman beautiful not to draw my attention away from the ship. My wife points the race that Obama honored have here today. Very that I love you and I'm Smart enough to know I would never made here without you. Thank you. No matter how beautiful cable or complex that shift is system sensors and weapons alone do not win battles. The difference between success and failure is the tactical prowess. Technical capabilities. And fighting spirit of our sailors. Simply stated great chips are made great. By the sailors who manned them. WBE in buffalo WK SE HD three Niagara Falls I've known in more than two point seven years in uniform. Each of them a dedicated more than two years training and preparing to manage yet. All of them have worked tirelessly to outfit and prepare for service. These sailors excuse grueling schedule which managed to impress 100 in training 120 work days of training. Assessments and evaluations in the 63 calendar days including. Veterans day and Thanksgiving. On average they put in fourteen hour days six days a week while standing duty every third day. They stood topside watts is exposed to the elements on seven degree days and one count in with cut in Wisconsin. Where the real field temperature dipped down to negative ten degrees. Days where it was so cold pipes frozen first army machinery. They are seen inventory and stowed 135 try walls equipment tools and supplies. Constituting more than 120000. Items. They took on and passed every assessment on the first attempt. Some without the benefit of rehearse or practice and there at their first Atlantic fleet Elsie that's true to accept and delivered ship from the shipyard. They can please the first Atlantic fleet LCS damage control material assessment in his life off assessment. Both of which were assessed well above fleet average for our cruiser destroyer contemporaries. They've been away from their families for the past 138 days and have another point six days ago before each mate or Laura will be home port. None of us will see our families with policies. They have done all of this with smiles on their faces concern for each other and glowing affection for hardship which grows daily. These sailors impressed and inspired me every day and I cannot be more privileged to serve alongside him. In addition of the sailors you see in uniform here today I would like to recognize and thank all of our short side of the rockers. The wives husbands children families and loved ones who inspire support it encourage us. Thank you for your love and understanding. Thank you for standing by as these one on these past one and 38 days and for your continued patience in the days and months to come. Although we look forgery Terry returning uniting with you 26 days from now. Our days together we'll be few as 2018 offers a busy spring and summer filled with under ways for commerce systems testing and training. As we transition this next phase of operations. Your continued understanding support and encouragement will be vital to our success. It is an honor and a privilege to deal Iraq sailor and we like to thank and recognize the sailors who served in our namesake Little Rock. We are fortunate enough to have some of them here that's today. We appreciate the proud latest you've built and we are humbled to be it's in pairs. Rest easy now and we have to watch. We are also joined by sellers from our US Sessler rock gold crew the scorpions. These sailors have been with with us and have been in Bible to us for the past four months. Augmenting our import watch bills and helping us fight through the challenging schedule I outlined earlier. Thank you for helping us get here we look forward to continued partnership as we complete the rocks testing and post shakedown overhaul and preparation for her first appointment. On behalf of both crews who will sell Barack we like thank collar Johnston. And the staff with or combat ships water too for your support guidance and assistance throughout the stand up of our crews in the manner of our ship. We also like to thank all the shipyard workers and craftsmen who built Little Rock. Lockheed Martin corporation and think interior Meriden marine shipyards have produced the ship's second to none. And thank you we like to thank you for devoting your best effort and energy into building at such a fine chip. In addition to the industry team we like thank everybody else yet program executive office of the supervisor shipbuilding and not only help to ensure the quality of Little Rock. But also worked tirelessly to shore every system a piece of equipment it's fully operational and ready for use upon delivery. We have been blessed to know work with two phenomenal commissioning committees in two different cities each with each chaired by an inspired leader. Mr. conference in our namesake city of Iraq and mr. moan Murray's name loss here in buffalo. Gentlemen we cannot thank you enough for the dedication and determination. You've shown over the past eighteen months. As a proud service warfare officer I hope you understand high regard and esteem intended when I say each of you may find slow. On behalf the entire crew I'd like thank every member of each committee the past tense ten days have been truly amazing. You all must to your city's embraced this is honored guests none of us was quite prepared for the hospitality. Generosity. And grace is this your child. In return we would like to include your as members are navy family and welcome you as little rockers in your own right. We look forward to continued friendship with both cities and build your relationship when it which Enders even after a Little Rock services come to an end. To our sponsor mr. nick Bonner thank you for sharing this week with us and for dedicating your time energy and support. It's been a pleasure to get to know you and we look forward to building a lasting relationship with you you're always welcome aboard our ships. We hope you'll keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you again for joining us here today as we celebrate USS little rock the newest ship the world's finest. Is our privilege to serve it is an honor his service such fine ship with such a distinguished name. On behalf of the officers chief petty officers and crew we would like to send a message to the entire world friend and foe alike. USS Barack call sign vengeance is back. There you have it the official commissioning of the USS little rock and now we expect a benediction is company. It group. With a guest please rise. Chapman blast my way now deliver. The benediction. Let us pray. Sodium level. And learn our brains. We only ask. On the care yeah. Robin. These sailor's big fight game. You'll learn only Arenas. Strength. Or when they. Water there are at least three times and some great. Resurfaced them from the barrels this TE and the violence of the enemy. Grant them fair way. Thank you Chapman last mar. Ladies and gentlemen please be seated. And remain seated for the departure of our official party. And then we'll do the official. Commissioning Susan of the USS Little Rock really remarkable to see. As all those sailors dash down board. When they drop that this ship to life as they call it I you know we've heard so much about that this week but I didn't know exactly what to expect it really was amazing as they go. Ran aboard and assume their duty Watson the port side the ship there. They overlooked the frigid folks here canal side. That Cotter sprain behind it that's very difficult to watch is that it's it's just it tells you how cold it is but yet that Cotter is. Actually just on the the other side the star retired the ship. Right now shooting water the water cancer. He continually is moving up and downs. The Erie Canal harbor in the backdrop. So that was kind of a surprise today that. Not about going into the the commissioning but it is you would imagine from the navy a fairly efficient. Ceremony here as all of the dignitaries leads the coverage stage and we start to see some of the throngs of people but thousands were told about 8500 people turned out here for this event today. Ladies and gentlemen approximately thirty minutes we will open our sit for two hours. Once the ship is ready to receive visitors. Yours is Little Rock crewmembers what got you to come or fourth tour archived. USS overwrought commissioning committee invited to join. And enjoy the group food and refreshments provided in the marched in behind. Real honored by your presence today. And thank you for your support our navy and our nation's. This concludes our ceremony. Serves company. Dismissed. And there it is indeed and that we are now watching the throngs of people exit here they'll gather is that covered and presumably heated tent and they will wait. Possibly a tour in nine having been on board earlier this week for a tour. This bases so restrictive it's difficult to imagine how that many people are gonna feel like you're truly efficiency. Don't think many people can't get on board when you consider the number that are here right now but this is a test of endurance Carolina people. Who just wanted to be here today and most of them did dress appropriately. Silica and doctor Phil's game or a day of skiing and and we made it. There which are dead and that will do it the complete commissioning is over with here. The USS Little Rock will remain in port in buffalo until I think Tuesday. They're going to be preparing it for the at transit through the well canal in the saint Lawrence Seaway. And and the ship will be making its way down to report its home port. Or Jackson felt great on the East Coast of Florida and much warmer climes and when you look at the ship but won't have the dusting of snow that. A picturesque and cold day here in downtown buffalo lake canal side. For the commissioning of the USS little rock and the folks are now make their way out of the seats again becoming light as they leave here. And a lot of them heading into that tent so that will do it for the commissioning here Susan thank you for being with us today. Fletcher with the great thing to witness in these history. Just made in buffalo the first time ever play. You new US naval ship is commissioned alongside its namesake. Very quiet on the other side of the channel here at the naval part. We're the old USS Little Rock sit so quietly and it will continue to do so as the new USS Little Rock departs for me port. Later in the week. Along with Susan Rosen to Wenger thank you for joining us this concludes our live coverage it will have continued coverage online. I'd news radio 930. Twitter or FaceBook page as well of course as WP and dot com now return you to our regular programming and news radio 930. WP yen in buffalo.