After nearly two years of construction, the USS Sioux City was finally christened and launched into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Our Jetske Wauran was at the Marinette Marine Shipyards, where hundreds of people watched the remarkable ceremony.
A momentous occasion for the USS Sioux City, the ship that was christened today. It will travel around the world and serve the nation's military.
She was honored, celebrated, and christened. The United States Navy Ship bearing the name one of Iowa's largest cities, the USS Sioux City LCS-11.
"It is an honor today to see a ship that we've been tracking for about the last 18 months finally go into the water and start her journey to be a part of the United States Navy," said Commander Kenneth Lieberman, Executive Officer for the US Navy.
"To see it land in the water is so, so exciting," said Tammy Baldwin, US Senator for Wisconsin.
Built in Marinette, the warship now in water, honoring the patriotic and hardworking citizens of Sioux City, a northwest Iowa city, with more than 80,000 people.
"What a great honor for not only me, but our community," said Bob Scott, Mayor of Sioux City.
At the Saturday morning ceremony, hundreds of people, family, friends, supporters listened, as navy officials, honorable guests, and officers gave a speech, promising the ship's powerful capabilities in protecting our country.
"I can imagine a future where sailors deploy on USS Sioux City, lookout to the horizons when the sun sets, and it's a calm, the kind of calm that's precious for crews who's been at sea," said Michelle Howard, Admiral for the US Navy.
United States Navy, Admiral, Michelle Howard said the christening is a historic event, not just for Wisconsin and Iowa, but for the entire United States.
"This is the spirit of Iowa and reflective of honor, courage, and commitment of all our United States sailors," said Howard.
"I mean unbelievable that I've been chosen to be the sponsor of this incredible ship," said Mary A. Winnefeld, sponsor for USS Sioux City.
The Freedom ship will have a crew of 50 sailors and home-ported in Mayport, Florida. The 387-foot-long, heavily armed vessel designed to detect mines, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and assist with humanitarian operations.
"This crew's ready to take this ship probably about a year from now and get her now and start putting her through the paces, and get her to where ever they need to," said Joe North, Vice President for Lockheed Martin.
Military officials say the USS Sioux City will safeguard Americans and forge new frontiers.