March 5, 2012 In News
PASCAGOULA —Plans are now underway for a commissioning ceremony of a new submarine, adding the USS Mississippi to this nation’s active Navy fleet.
The commissioning of the 377-foot Virginia-class attack submarine is set for June 2 in Pascagoula, and Gov. Phil Bryant said he is grateful to have a Navy vessel named in honor of Mississippi.
Ship commissioning is an act that places a ship into active service, and this ceremony is deeply rooted in American naval tradition. The event is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the Gulf Coast.
“This is such a great honor and is an outstanding opportunity for Mississippi to shine,” Gov. Bryant said. “Pascagoula and the Gulf Coast will welcome thousands of visitors, and we want to show off our coastal communities.”
The commissioning is free; attendees are asked to register for security reasons.
The Navy and private donations will fund the event. The cost of the actual ceremony is paid for by the Navy, but the associated events, such as the welcoming reception for the submarine’s crew, is paid for by private funds.
The Meridian-Mississippi Council of the United States Navy League is spearheading fundraising efforts. Gov. Bryant is serving as Honorary Co-Chair of the council and hopes to help raise about $300,000.
“I am proud that American sailors will defend our nation on a ship named for this great stat” Bryant said. “I want all of us to come together to show this crew the legendary warmth and welcome of The Hospitality State.”
In addition to donations, the commissioning is in need of citizens who can volunteer their time to make the event successful.
“We are deeply honored that this great ship will be commissioned right here in Pascagoula,” Mayor Robbie Maxwell said. “Shipbuilding is a proud tradition in this area, and we look forward to welcoming the crew and other guests to our city.”
For more information on attending the commissioning, volunteering or donating, visit www.ussmississippi.org.
Donations are tax deductible and should be made payable to the Navy League of the US (USS Mississippi) and mailed to P.O. Box 790, Meridian, MS, 39302.