Just slightly beyond the two-year commissioning anniversary of USS Missouri (SSN 780), the commanding officer, chief of the boat and three Sailors will visit their namesake state, Aug. 26-30.
Cmdr. Mike Luckett, who took command of Missouri in April 2012, will embark on his first namesake state visit since assuming command of the Virginia-class attack submarine. The crew’s visit will serve as commemoration of the submarine’s entry into the U.S. Navy, and will allow the crew to connect with the citizens of Missouri.
“This will be my first official visit to Missouri and it’s a great honor to visit our namesake state,” said Luckett. “I’m looking forward to meeting with the USS Missouri Commissioning Committee and all the citizens of Missouri who’ve provided such great support to the ship and our crew throughout the ship’s life.”
During the visit to the “Show Me State,” Luckett and his crew members will participate in a three-city tour across the state, with stops in Kansas City, Jefferson City, and St. Louis.
Samuel M. Bushman, chairman of the USS Missouri Commissioning Committee said he looks forward to the visit by the commanding officer and crew of USS Missouri. “The USS Missouri Commissioning Committee takes great pride as an ongoing support system for our Sailors who serve to guard our freedom,” said Bushman.
While in Kansas City, the crew will visit with patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital and tour historical landmarks. Luckett added that this is one of the stops his crew is looking forward to most.
“It will be a wonderful opportunity to talk with the patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital and to share with them a little of what we do to serve our nation and the citizens of Missouri,” said Luckett.
During their visit to Jefferson City, which was named for Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, the crew will tour the Missouri State Capitol and meet with Gov. Jay Nixon.
They will also visit with the American Legion, Submarine Veterans, the Navy League of the United States/Mid-Missouri Council, and USS Missouri Commissioning Committee members. While in Jefferson City, the Sailors will meet and speak with middle and high school students in science, math and history classes at the various schools in Jefferson City.
During their final leg of their visit, in St. Louis, the crew members will share their military experiences and mentor the Cleveland High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NRJOTC) Unit.
The crew will also meet local officials, including St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, and speak to local members of the Commissioning Committee as well as other supporters of the military.
Missouri is the seventh submarine of the Virginia class, built for the U.S. Navy by General Dynamics Electric Boat and commissioned July 2010. The submarine’s crew consists of about 134 officers and enlisted personnel. Missouri is the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the “Show Me State.”
Naval Today Staff, August 28, 2012; Image: Navy