The United States Navy commissioned the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul on May 21, 2022, in Duluth Minnesota. She is the second ship named after Minnesota’s twin cities.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the zenith city, beautiful Duluth Minnesota and the commissioning of the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul L. C. S 21. I am commander Brian chemists, the ship’s executive officer. It is my privilege to be your master of ceremonies. Today we welcome those with us in person and our friends and family as they participate in today’s event via the World Wide Web. We are here today to commission the second ship of the line to brown proudly bear the name Minneapolis-St. Paul. The First USS Minneapolis-St. Paul was a Los Angeles class submarine SSN 708 and was commissioned in 1984. She participated in operation Desert Shield in the gulf war and was the first submarine to carry tomahawk cruise missiles specifically designed for strikes against Iraq. She was decommissioned in 2008. We are honored to have former members of her crew with us today. We’re also honored to have Duluth native and former Hanoi Hilton pow Commander David wheat, United States Navy retired with us today. Commander wheat, please stand and be recognized. Would all veterans please stand and be recognized. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your service. This crew is proud to carry on the fine tradition of service and to bear the name of America’s twin cities. Our ceremony today is a time honored tradition that began with the commissioning of our first warship, a captured British Schooner, the Margarita in 1775. Since then, thousands of ships have undergone the transformation from silent halls to fully alive warships. Our commissioning crew hereafter known as plague owners are informal formation among you and ready to bring our ship alive in just a few moments. The Navy band and new home saluting battery will render honors to the honorable Tim WALZ. Will the guests please rise and remain standing for the arrival of our official party honors, the presentation of colors and our national anthem. Ladies and gentlemen, our platform guests. Lieutenant Jeffrey Spindle, chaplain Corps, United States Navy. Our ceremony chaplain, Mr. Bryant’s khan Chairman, Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul commissioning committee. Mhm. MS Carly Olsen and Miss Nicole Sundberg are matrons of honor. Mr. Brian Chrissy. Deputy officer in charge supervisor, shipbuilding, Bath Natasha Marinette. Captain Neil Ron Dorff. United States Navy Retired are long grass glass presenter. Captain Andy Gold, United States Navy littoral Combat Ships Program Manager. Okay. Captain David Miller, United States Navy Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron two mm hmm. Mr. Mark Van drove. Chief Executive, Executive Officer, Secretary Marinette, Marine Mr. john Rambo. Vice president and general manager. Lockheed martin. Integrated warfare systems and sensors sensors. Rear Admiral Casey martin, United States Navy Program. Executive Officer. Unmanned and small combatants. Yeah, the honorable Melvin carter. Mayor City of ST Paul Minnesota. The honorable Jacob Frye Mayor, City of Minneapolis Minnesota. The honorable Emily Larson Mayor, City of Duluth Minnesota. Vice Admiral Scott deacon. Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for war fighting requirements and capabilities. The honorable eric Draven. The undersecretary of the Navy. The Honourable Pete Stauber, United States, Representative State of Minnesota. 8th District. Mm hmm. The Honourable Betty McCollum. United States Representative State of Minnesota. 4th District. The honorable Amy Klobuchar, United States Senator State of Minnesota. Ladies and gentlemen, our ship’s sponsor, Miss Jody Greene, escorted today by senior chief Edward Parade. Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul commands senior chief ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Tim walz Governor State of Minnesota, escorted today by Commander Alfonso White, United States Navy Minneapolis-St. Paul’s commanding officer. Ladies and gentlemen, honors to the honorable Tim walz. Platform, hand salute. Yeah, yeah. Talk Okay. Mhm, mm hmm. Okay. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Platform ready to advance the colors. Platform. Mm hmm. Oh say, can you see by the dawn’s early light? What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s screaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight or the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and this is rick. The bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh say dies that star spangled for the end of the bridge and the home of the brain retire the colors. Platform ready to ladies and gentlemen Chaplin spender will now deliver the invocation. Good morning Shipmates, family friends. This is a great Navy day. I invite you to pray with me. Let us pray creator God, thank you for this great Navy day. Let us rejoice and be glad in it as we breathe life into this ship today, I ask your blessing on our honored guests today for Senator Klobuchar congressman McCollum, congressman Stauber, undersecretary raven, Assistant secretary burger. The many today who represent Minnesota in the state and local government and all of those who have had a hand in the creation of this magnificent ship. I pray that this ship and those who serve on it would embody the hopes, cares and values of the people of the twin cities and the twin ports and the great state of Minnesota, for which she is named. And God just as Minnesota is known as the Star of the north. I pray that you would be our true and greater North Star. I pray this for Commander White and his plank owning crew, for all who will serve on the Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul. Let all who serve on this ship embody the highest standards of naval service and leadership. Honor, courage, commitment, give them wisdom to know the right and the will to always carry it out, strengthen them body, mind and spirit for the battles ahead. Give them all your presence and your holy spirit, especially for Commander White and those who will follow him in the days when the burden of command weighs heavy, give them fair weather and all their voyages. But if dangers come be there strong Tower of Defense, preserve us from the dangers of the sea and the violence of enemies. Make us strong in the fear of God and the love of righteousness that we may serve well in support of the high ideals upon which our nation and navy were founded. This we pray in the name of the king of kings and Lord of Lords. Amen. Thank you chaplain spindle. We would like to thank Navy Band, Great Lakes Lieutenant Nicole M. Rome. The Twin Cities Squadron C Cadet Color Guard and the new old saluting battery for their support today. Additionally, we would like to thank and acknowledge Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul commissioning committee, the Minnesota Council, the United States Navy League and the Duluth Seaway Ports Authority for their generosity and support. Will the guests please be seated, Ship’s company parade rest ladies and gentlemen. The honorable Amy Klobuchar. Thank you. Hello everyone and welcome to the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul commissioning ceremony. And to all our out of town guests Welcome to Duluth, a town where the women are strong. The men are good looking and all the naval ships are above average. Uh, and yes, we consider this tropical weather in Duluth. I heard it called a navy day haze gray on the way. It is great to be with all of you at the ports today with the governor veteran himself. Congresswoman McCullum who works every day in her key position with appropriations to get funding for our military congressman Stauber. Who knows well the sacrifices that service members and their families make. As many of you know, his wife is an Iraq war veteran who made history as the first female command chief of the one 48th fighter wing year in Duluth. Mayor Larson, a good friend who’s been doing incredible work for this city. Mayors, Melvin carter, carter and Jacob Pry, We welcome you up to Duluth undersecretary of the Navy raven, former deputy undersecretary of the Navy Jody Greene, who is a proud native of Northfield Minnesota, thank you for being this ship’s sponsor And of course Captain White, thank you for your work as commanding officer and most of all I want to welcome and thank all of the service members and the veterans and their families. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. There is no limit to the respect you’ve earned or the depth that we owe you today is the day after all the hard work that 100 and 40 sailors and crew members put in to get this ship ready, we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel or as the Mayor of Duluth aptly puts it the lighthouse on the horizon because today the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul officially joins the fleet of the Navy. This is a particularly special day because, as you all know, the Minneapolis-St. Paul is the first ship to ever be commissioned in the state of Minnesota. We’ve only been a state governor since 1858. So our guests that our patience has finally paid off as one of the Navy’s fastest combat ships. This ship was built with American iron ore, iron range, iron ore, something we truly love up here in Minnesota and for me as a point of personal privilege, my grandpa was a minor. His entire life worked 1500 ft underground and he always wanted to be in the navy, but he had to raise his eight brothers and sisters. He had kids, He got married and he never got that chance because he didn’t get to graduate from high school. Um, but he would be so proud right now when he thinks of that ore in this ship. Um and how you got this done this ship is a true marvel of American engineering. She is a great testament to all of those who had a hand at building her and preparing her for sea. She represents the best of the U. S. Navy’s longstanding commitment to progress and innovation, a commitment that has given us the largest and most powerful navy in the world. We are so proud of the name, the Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul and the ship’s motto, which translates to, I will either find a way or make one is a perfect reflection of the resolve and determination of our state’s service members and our veterans. That commitment to doing everything possible to protect freedom is more relevant now than ever. We have all been moved at this very moment of the bravery of the Ukrainian people taking up arms to protect their country, sending a warning shot to any tyrants around the world to believe that free democracies are up for grabs in vibrant blue and yellow. They are showing us what courage and conviction are all about. They are showing that they too will either find a way or make one. And with our help, with the advice and help of the United States military and our country, they are standing up to the inhuman barbarism of Vladimir Putin America stands with democracy. America stands with Ukraine. And right now our service members are in Europe shoring up events. Embodying the bravery of generations of military heroes. It’s through their steadfast commitment to our nation’s values, that America has maintained its role as a beacon of hope and freedom for all. I know that this ship along with her captain and crew will make Minnesota proud and even more importantly, I know that all its sailors and service members will continue to make America proud just as you have throughout your service, Just as the men and women of the United States Navy have done for generations. You will either find a way or make one. Thank you for inviting me today. I am so honored to be here. Uh this is the best that America can bring and thank you for this special moment, especially the kids out there. I know your parents said, I know it’s cold but you’re going to remember this forever! Remember it forever. Thank you. Okay, thank you. Senator Klobuchar Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. john Rambo. Good morning ladies gentlemen and distinguished guests. I’d like to begin this morning by offering congratulations and a special thank you to Governor walz. Senator Klobuchar Representative McCollum, Representative Stauber Mayor Larson, Undersecretary raven Mayor fry mayor carter Vice Admiral Con rear Admiral Martin, our sponsor Miss Jody Greene and all former and future sailors of USs Minneapolis-St. Paul. I’m honored to be here today to represent Lockheed martin who together with our industry partners and the U. S. Navy stand ready to deliver this incredible ship to the operational fleet. I’d like to thank our employees and those of our industry partners for your resilience and dedication to mission during the last several unprecedented years. You demonstrated exceptional commitment and delivered exceptional results. I appreciate your extraordinary efforts and the personal sacrifices that you and your loved ones made to make this day possible. Having spent time with the shipyard leaders and employees who have poured so much of themselves into this ship. I know this day is an especially proud moment and the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Congratulations! The freedom variant of LCS demonstrates the commitment of the U. S. Navy’s industry partners including Lockheed martin Fincantieri Marinette Marine Gibbs and cox and a vast number of other maritime suppliers and small businesses to build the fleet that is needed for the future. We are proud of our partnership with the US Navy and of the ship that we’re delivering to them today while she embraces innovation and is filled with the latest technology. It will be the skill and bravery of the crew that brings her to life with her dedicated officers and sailors. Uss. Minneapolis-St. Paul will become one of the fleet’s most lethal and versatile warships. I know you’ll make Minnesotans and all Americans proud as we look to building the future and the next generation of naval superiority. It can also be helpful to look to the past In this case, a 190 to address to Congress, in which Teddy Roosevelt said a good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace. 120 years later, the urgent call for peace and stability around the globe has never been greater. Which is precisely why the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul was set to see. Thank you again to everyone who made today possible. We wish you Godspeed fair winds and following seas. Thank you. Yeah, thank you Mr. Rambo. Ladies and gentlemen, Vice Admiral Scott deacon. Okay, get this down the normal height. Hey, on behalf of the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilda, I can say what an honor it is to be there today. And Senator, thank you for that for the the praise that you gave to the crew back there and I I haven’t spoken with him, but I will speak for him and I can say that. I would probably say it is their honor and privilege to serve and I can say it’s an honor to represent the navy today for me, part of this unforgettable experience as we welcome the U. S. As Minneapolis-St. Paul to the fleet and as a naval aviator flew off aircraft carriers and talking to some of the folks in the pre reception and looking in their eyes and seeing the sense of pride they have for their community, what this ship means to them. And I know I didn’t speak with many of you but I spoke with a few that is not lost on me and for an aviator’s stand up at this time. It’s pretty cool and cool pun is intended. I think my Pennsylvania blood is thinning a little bit. Secretary raven. Governor walz, Senator Klobuchar congresswoman, McCollum, congressman, Stewart, Mr. Green and Mr. Rambo proud uss Minneapolis-St. Paul, plank owner, crew, distinguished guests And family and friends. Thank you all for preparing LCS 21 for this day. I know it takes a team effort and something of this magnitude doesn’t just happen. I offer particular thanks to Lockheed martin and thinking terry Marinette marine ship owners who have delivered another fast, efficient and agile warship to our navy and look around this is an impressive crowd gathered here to celebrate this important day for our navy team. I recognize how special it is to be together for this milestone and to spend this day bringing the newest ship of our fleet to life in this way and more so to do it In the beautiful state of her namesake cities is indeed special. The great cities of Minneapolis, ST Paul and other and our Navy share a long and enduring legacy. Five previous ships, two, each from Minneapolis and ST Paul. And one previous ship honoring the twin cities have distinguished the names across every major maritime conflict in our nation’s history spanning nearly two centuries, Arguably the most battle tested the cruiser Indianapolis 2nd to carry the name, earned an astounding 16 battle stars. As a result of her actions in World War Two, the crew fought in locations such as coral sea, Midway Guadalcanal casa for anger. The Philippine sea in Okinawa. These collective actions represents a history we are proud of and more importantly, the future we can depend on and perhaps past. His prologue, today’s uss Minneapolis-St. Paul designed to operate in near shore environments while capable of open sea. Tasking joins the navy at a time of shifting global pandemic dynamics, as the nation faces as an assertive china arising Russia and other ambitious, authoritative states. Strategic competition in the 21st century is a contestant environment. We must work with our allies and our friends to reserve the rules based order that we all love. I will say this ship whether in the tutorials or an open ocean is part of day to day operations. Our navy and our nation will rely on Minneapolis-St. Paul in this area of strategic competition and this mission focused platform and it’s ready. Crew are up to the task Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul. Shipmates, we know you were ready. We know where you’ll get ready. And now if we ask you to go into harm’s way under the leadership of your commanding officer, you will in fact be ready and perform. Congratulations and thank you and to your families, make us all proud to be part of the Navy family. Today. Sale proudly. Us manana ST Paul. Sale proudly. Indeed! Thank you. Thank you. Vice Admiral Con Ladies and gentlemen. The honorable Pete Stauber. Good morning everyone. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here with you all celebrating this moment that will remain in Minnesota’s history and the naval history. As Senator Klobuchar talked about the steel. Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul come from the iron ore mined at Hibbing taconite steel. The steel industry is a strategic national security for this nation. For this reason. As you look behind us, this beautiful ship, the steel, the iron ore made for the steel. It was mined by our friends and neighbors that we have a rich history. We helped when World War One and World War two. The Iron Range did. This is the product we live in a dangerous world as we can see the current events in Europe right now. The crew. The Minneapolis-St. Paul are the best of the best. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Commander White many of his sailors. The leadership that he commands and the great sailors that are with him are second to none. They’re the best of the best. And as they board this ship, she’s gonna sail across the world protecting the constitution of this country, protecting the United States and protecting our allies. We are so proud to be here at this commissioning ceremony to witness this for us many of us once in a lifetime, the commissioning of a ship that’s honoring two beautiful cities in our state, Minneapolis and ST Paul to Commander White and the sailors. God speed to you. We have the United States nation behind you. In whatever endeavor we ask of you. God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you Representative Starbird. Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Tim walZ, Good morning MS Green. MS Sundberg MS Olson to Senator Klobuchar, congresswoman McCullum, congressman Stauber to the mayor’s mayor carter. Mayor fry and Mayor Larson to our veterans and those who wore this nation’s uniform and protection of our freedoms to my fellow red legs from the new Orleans battery and a special welcome and thank you to the crew and family of the Uss Minneapolis. ST Paul. It’s an honor to be in this space. Thank you to the United States Navy for the invitation and thank you to the Navy League for all your efforts planning to make this commissioning so extraordinary. We don’t commission artillery pieces in the army and that is unfortunate. It’s a unique opportunity to gather the mayors of three of our great cities in Minnesota, but an opportunity to gather us as Minnesotans as an Americans. It’s all too rare. The opportunities today for us to set in space together maybe next to somebody you’ve never talked to and share the values and the sense of pride and the sense of hopefulness and the sense of responsibility that this nation has to the world. We’re not just a country were an ideal, an ideal that has inspired generations. We’re not just a country that has a military. We’re backed by these people you see behind us who are sent to do the nation’s work and in so many times they’re doing it in the far corners of the world for people they don’t know, providing opportunities for them to live their lives in peace and freedom. So for just a few short moments today, if you get an opportunity, there are true heroes amongst us. There are people that have endured the unimaginable for us. But there’s also neighbors sitting next to you with the same hopes and dreams and in this nation, there’s a few who raised their hands and are willing to say, we’ll do what’s necessary. So you can live your lives in peace and security and I for one. am incredibly grateful that the Navy brought this to Minnesota to let us share in this unique opportunity to see the commissioning of the United States Navy warship Minnesotans as you see. And I hope the folks from out of State C that we don’t just pretend to this were a people of grit, resiliency and bravery. And those are reflected in the values of the United States Navy and the crew of the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul to the crew when you sail the world’s oceans to whatever nation calls you in order to defend the freedoms that we enjoy. Know that the pride and patriotism of all Minnesotans sales with you may, the Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul protect you and know that you are always welcome back home in Minnesota May. God bless the Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul and those, all those who served with her fair winds and following seas. Thank you Governor walz. Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable eric raven. I am so thrilled to be with all of you to celebrate the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul, the newest freedom class littoral combat ship in the United States Navy. While I was sworn in as undersecretary of the Navy just last month, I deeply understand the value and need of naval ceremonies. I have always stood in admiration of any ship ceremony I have been fortunate enough to attend. Additionally, I am pleased to stand before you today and say, this is my first ship commissioning as a representative of the Navy, I cannot fully express my gratitude and what an honor it is to be welcomed by you and to perform this duty. LCS 21 is the second ship to be named after Minnesota’s twin cities or as Minnesota’s may affectionately referred to as the city’s honoring the citizens and their proud history of naval service. The twin cities represent the great state of Minnesota’s economic, cultural and political center. The twin cities play a significant role in our nation’s economic network and now, more than ever, it is fitting that a littoral combat ship ship is named for Minneapolis-St. Paul honoring the legacy of work and contributions of the people which ultimately impacts our daily lives nationwide and globally. I am pleased to celebrate this moment. While in Duluth, Duluth is also a twin city and known as the twin ports. While also maintaining the largest ports on the great lakes. It holds the status of the Furthest inland ports granting access to the Atlantic Ocean 2300 miles away. Duluth not only has a well established and thriving maritime community, it also has experience with hosting the Navy granting ships like USs freedom U. S. S. Clark USs Samuel B Morrison the privilege to ports here, but today marks a historic moment for Minnesota sports. Today is the first time that a ship named after Minnesota will be commissioned in Minnesota and the welcome from the Minnesotans and the city of Duluth has been outstanding. Thank you all today’s events are not only a celebration of this state, this city and this crew. The significance of the addition of this ship to the Navy’s fleet. At this important place touches our nation and our world. The United States is a maritime nation. Our welfare is inextricably linked to the sea. This part of Duluth Superior see itself sees bulk cargo, tens of millions of tons transported And around 900 vessel visits each year. And the C enables the global economy as well, 90% of global trade travels by the sea. $5.4 trillion of annual U. S. Commerce and 31 million American jobs depend on oceangoing trade. Undersea cables, transmit 95% of international communications And $1 trillion dollars in financial transactions every day. And it is ships like the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul that allow our navy to protect these economic interests and advance our global security commissioning. The Minneapolis-St. Paul means we continue to deliver fast agile and network surface combatants to the navy like other warships in our fleet. The Minneapolis-St. Paul is designed to operate in near shore environments while capable of ocean, open, open ocean tasking. It will contribute to keeping the navy adaptive and ready and also maintaining the free flow of commerce, deterring military aggression and facilitating quick responses to natural disasters across the globe today and through this ship, we honor the strength and resolve of our shipbuilders who keep the Navy on track to continue building the right mix of capabilities we need for our force. Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul exists today because of the outstanding work by Lockheed martin in the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corporation’s shipyard at Marinette Wisconsin. The shipyard and its workers have spent untold hours building the ship that we today bring to life and welcome to the fleet. We cannot thank these Americans enough for the hard work that they have done. What an accomplishment. The commissioning of the United States naval warship is a key milestone, not only for the hull or the crew, but for the ship’s sponsor. MS Jody Greene is no stranger to the Department of the Navy and its traditions having served honorably as our deputy undersecretary of the Navy for for policy for nearly a decade. MS Green from your first ceremony with her, the keel laying where your initials were etched into the hull of the ship, to the christening ceremony and now this milestone her commissioning, you have established your you have established the roots of your relationship with the ship. Her crew and each commanding officer. They will benefit greatly from your passion and experience both in and out of uniform the Minneapolis-St. Paul and all who will sail her are lucky to have you as a sponsor. We are proud to call you plank owner and you are forever an honorary member of the first crew. I hope this journey has been exciting and I look forward to your future endeavors with her for the sailors, crew and officers of Minneapolis-St. Paul. You have been entrusted with a modern marvel. I have full confidence that you are trained, manned and equipped to manage every situation that is thrown your way in times of conflict and in times of peace, around the world and around the clock, our Navy and Marine Corps are present protecting our way of life. And now we have another ship in the fleet. Doing just that. Thank you again for the honor of being here today for hosting this outstanding event and for all the support you provide to our nation and our armed forces and welcome Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul to the fleet. It is now my honor and privilege to welcome our principal speaker to the platform, the honorable Betty McCullum, United States Representative Minnesota’s fourth District and Chair of the House Defense appropriations subcommittee. Well, good morning welcome to the distinguished guests behind me but a very special welcome to all of you who have joined us here today. It’s a pleasure to be here in beautiful Duluth or as we refer to it as the Bold North as chair of the House appropriations subcommittee Defense. A resident of Minnesota. Born in Minneapolis living in ST Paul and spending many years when my father was stationed at the base here in Duluth. It is an honor to be here at this very special ceremony and to share the day with you as we commission the Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul. Now, I was proud to be with many of you at the Christine ceremony in 2019 and I keep a photograph of myself with some of the women sailors that were taken as the launch was happening and it’s on the hall wall in my congressional office in Washington, D. C. So you’re with me always. Although if you think back 2019 was only three years ago, the world was a very different place. The COVID-19 pandemic had not struck. And although we face challenges from adversaries abroad, the Russian invasion of Ukraine had not yet laid its stark truth about the threats to democracy in the hands of autocrats around the world. The strength of America’s national security and the democratic values we all hold dear are being tested today. Like they have not been tested in our lifetimes. But there’s no doubt in my mind that the officers and the crew of the USs, Minneapolis and ST Paul are ready to meet the challenge of this new geopolitical era and they’re going to meet it head on. So I want to thank the men and women here today at the United States Navy and of course of all our armed forces for their service to their nation and the civilians who stand alongside them to help them with their mission, You’ve all been called to serve. But those of you who are the uniform, put more on the line when you raise up your hand and take your oath of office to service. So I want to thank you for your dedication and I want to thank you for what you’re doing to keep our communities and our nation’s safe. And I also think it’s important that as I said, we recognize some of the civilians that help us as well too. So thank everyone at Lockheed martin then can tear a marine and Gibbs and cox maritime solutions. These men and women from Wisconsin and Michigan worked hard to build the ship. They worked with 12,000 suppliers over 40 states, including some right here in Minnesota and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their years of work, including during the toughest times during the COVID pandemic to get this ship built. But we do that because we’re one team and those who built who built this ship, we’re part of their team as people here in the United States, proud of the work that they’ve done as well as proud of the crew that will be serving on her. It’s all of you, the crew. You’re the strength and the determination of the American people. You’re the backbone of our national security. You’re representing everyone in uniform today. But we’re here to celebrate something special. It’s the twin cities being honored and the entire state of Minnesota. So Governor wall, Senator Klobuchar and my colleague Pete starboard It is, We have to remind everybody about our deep connection to the water where the land of 10,000 freshwater lakes. including the beautiful lake Superior that we’re lucky enough to be here with today. But we’re also the proud headwaters of the Mississippi River. The geographic divide in our nation between east and west, that great river is the home to the twin cities. The twin cities that symbolized not only the heart of America’s greatest river, but the unification of our nation as well. Now I know you heard some of this from the previous speakers, but as a former social studies teacher, Governor Walz one as well, we want to say that history sometimes is worth repeating. So here’s some trivia for you about the Minneapolis-St. Paul as well as other parts of our history. So our twin cities have a proud naval tradition. Every corner of the globe has been represented. The first USs ST Paul was an ocean liner converted to an auxiliary cruiser, the first cruiser, the USs Minneapolis to both serve in the Spanish American and first world wars in World War Two. The second crew cruiser to bear the name Minneapolis fought with great valor across many defining battles in the pacific theater has been mentioned. The battle of the coral sea and the battle of Midway, the second cruiser, the USs ST Paul was presented for formal surrender when Japan surrendered to the United States in Tokyo Bay at the end of the war and then it went on to serve well into the 70s, both in the Korean and Vietnam War. The first Navy vessel named for the twin cities. Together, the first US as Minneapolis, ST Paul was a Los Angeles attack submarine, which as you heard, defended our shores during the Cold War and into the 21st century. So this is a hollowed naval tradition, a rich history of these names. The officers and the crew. The Minneapolis-St. Paul will carry with them just as the officers and crew of the previous ships bear these names defended democracy and ensured America’s national security on the oceans. And I know so will all of you will be boarding the ship in Congress as it’s been pointed out. It’s my honor to serve as chair of the appropriations for the defense subcommittee and it’s my job to ensure that the officers and crew of the USs, Minneapolis and ST Paul have the training the equipment and then all that will be necessary to complete their missions and to come home safely to their families. And I do that with my colleagues on the dais. With me know that we have the most technology sophisticated navy in the world history, but our adversaries make no mistake are making advances. So it’s my commitment to you that Congress will continue to strongly support our navy and keep our edge over our competitors. Ships like the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul are going to be critical, encountering global threats we face as a nation. We need to make sure that we guarantee freedom of the seas are locked littoral combat ships. They’re fast, they’re agile, but the freedom variant designed to operate in many different ocean environments and when the United States Navy guarantees to defend our liberty and our freedom wherever it may be threatened, we know we need a littoral combat ship to help do that job. So again, to all of those of you who worked to build the ship, thank you for your years of diligent craftsmanship to the officers. To the crew of the Minneapolis-St. Paul. Please know that you carry with you the confidence from everyone in the twin cities in the state of Minnesota. Well our entire nation, I know that in these times of peace or in times of conflict, we know that when you’re called upon that you will answer that call and you will answer it in the finest naval traditions for those who have served before you. So thank you to your service, You have made your nation proud. I wish for you. Smooth seas, sunny skies and all the best that life can bring you in the future as you serve. God bless you. Thank you. Representative McCollum. Okay. Yeah. Secretary raven. I would be honored if you would now place Minneapolis-St. Paul in commission on behalf of the President of the United States and for the Secretary of the Navy. I hereby place United States Ship. Minneapolis-St. Paul in commission May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her? Oh my God, thank you. Secretary raven. Executive Officer, horse the colors and commission pennant. All right, sir. Ship’s company attention. The commission pennant and professional national navies began to take from late in the 17th century. All ships at that time were sailing ships and it was often difficult to tell a naval ship from a merchant man. Navies began to adopt long narrow pennants to be flown by their ships at the main mast head to distinguish themselves from merchant ships. The commission pennant will fly continuously until the ship is decommissioned. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise, I direct your attention to the ship’s mast as we hoist the colors and commissioned pennant. Quartermaster, hoist the colors and commissioned pennant, aye, aye, sir. Captain. The colors and commissioning pennant are flying proudly over Uss. Minneapolis-St. Paul. Very well, Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. I will now read my orders from commander. Naval military personnel. Command Commander Alfonso White, United States Navy subject. Cooper’s Orders number 95801, April 2020. When directed by reporting senior detached from President duty and report to pre commissioning unit. Minneapolis-St. Paul as commanding officer upon commissioning United States ships. Minneapolis-St. Paul. Report for duty as commanding officer. Vice Admiral Con United States Ships. Minneapolis-St. Paul is in commissioning and I am in command. Thank you sir. Yeah. Mhm. Okay. Executive officer set the watch. All right sir. Mhm. Thank you. Off the deck. Set the first watch. All right, sir. The Austin deck is the commanding officers. Direct representative and while on watch is responsible for the safe operation of the shipping crew. The Long glass is a traditional symbol of an office index authority in a ship of the line. We are honored to have retired Navy Captain Neil Ron Dorff with us today. Captain Ron Dorff commanded the first Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul, S. S. N 708 during operation Desert storm. He will pass the long glass to our first off the deck. Lieutenant junior grade joseph Morello from Long island new York. The pdf of the watch is sonar technician. Second class Derek miller from Allentown Pennsylvania. The messenger watch, Izbasa made seaman Natalie my hand from east Northport new York. And the best estimate of the watch. Izbasa mates. First class Anthony Thomas from Long Mount Colorado. Set the Import Watch on Deck Section one, sir. The watch is set very well. Captain. The watch is set very well bringing the ship to life The spirit of the U. S. Navy warship is the embodiment of her sponsor. Our sponsor Miss Jody Greene, a veteran of more than 31 years of public service to our nation christened the ship in Marinette Wisconsin on June 15th 2019 and imbued the ship and crew with her sense of service and grace Jody. I would be honored if you would give the order to man our ship and bring her to life. Good morning, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Crew of the Minneapolis-St. Paul and your families and friends. It is an honor of a lifetime to be named a ship’s sponsor. I will forever be grateful to the 75th Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mavis for naming me the ship’s sponsor of the Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul as the deputy undersecretary of the Navy. From this great state of Minnesota, I had the opportunity to bring the Navy to this state of Minnesota to the cities of Minneapolis and ST Paul and Duluth and superior and the surrounding areas. For many Navy weeks here. But those conversations became more powerful and more exciting when we began to talk about the future. L. c. s. 21. Those conversations began 6.5 years ago. six. And a half years. We have been planning for this day as a crew. You have already proven your strength and determination. You prepared this ship to take her place in the fleet during challenging times. All eyes were on you as you continue to make this pathway and congratulations! You have made it to this commissioning day as you have seen and heard this morning and all. Week long. The great state of Minnesota is a navy ST and the people of Minneapolis and ST Paul in the twin harbors are so proud of you. I have been blessed to spend quality time with the crew over the last few years through visits, phone calls, text messages. We began our bond. We laughed together and some of us even cried together. I look so forward to hearing your stories as you sail the world’s ocean representing the United States of America while carrying the ship’s namesake cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul for all to see her to your family and friends in the audience with us today. And those viewing the ceremony virtually thank you for being here to support these sailors. They need you, they need your support. They need your love and while they are out defending our nation and promoting peace and stability. Commander White, Executive officer Kim, It’s senior chief parade and to each and every one of the crew of the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul. I am so proud of you and this ship. You are what make this nation great with the audience as my witness. I know that I was, I will always be there for you as your sponsor. I will be your biggest advocate and supporter. I will sing your praises to anyone who will listen. I will laugh with you and I will cry with you. Our bond will be forever. Congratulations on this commissioning day. May God bless this crew. Our crew of the USs Minneapolis-St. Paul. We will either find a way or make one officers and crew of the USs. Minneapolis-St. Paul man our ship and bring her to life. Okay? Yeah. No. Mm hmm. Mhm mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen, the crew of Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul salutes you. We are proud to serve in America’s Navy. Minneapolis-St. Paul. Ready to. Will the guests please be seated? We would like to thank the Minnesota National Guard, Alpha Company 2147 assault helicopter squadron for their support today. Yeah. Captain. Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul is manned and ready. Very well, commodore Miller, US Minneapolis-St. Paul is manned and ready. Reports for duty. Thank you sir. Yes sir. Secretary raven request permission to break your flag sir. Very well. Executive Officer. Break the flag of the Under Secretary of the Navy. All right sir. Quartermaster. Break the flag of the Under Secretary of the Navy. Oh my God, Captain. The flag of the Under Secretary of Navy is flying proudly over Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul. Very well. Ladies and gentlemen, Commander Alfonso White, United States Navy Commanding Officer. Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul Ship’s Company Parade rest Governor, walz Senator Klobuchar Representative McCollum. Representative, Starbird. Secretary raven. Vice Admiral Con and other dignitaries and honored guests. Thank you for coming out today to support the crew of US. Minneapolis-St. Paul. I’d like to thank, my wife and daughter. Amira. They are my foundation, my motivation and my inspiration through this life. I would not be anything without you Chris white. Okay growth White, you would be with me since the beginning. A brother, a friend, a father, thank you to my friend Tangie, the only person that I can say have known me longer than Chris and has been there with him and supported him through elementary high school college and to the rest of my family, thank you for being here and to the ones that were not able to make it and I appreciate the support from a distance to our sponsor Miss Jody Greene ma’am. Thank you for all of your support for the ship the crew and your decades of public service to our nation has been an inspiration to all of us and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and your family and giving the tour to the ship this week. To our families. You are force multipliers. You do the hard work at home so we can do the heavy lifting at sea. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice that you may not wear the cloth of our nation. You are surely the thread that holds the fabric together to the Minnesota Navy League, wow Bill Brian. I couldn’t have asked for a better Navy League to come up here and all that you have provided us this week. Thank you to have success. You have to know the objective the objective of getting us. Minneapolis-St. Paul to Duluth Minnesota was not a small task. It took planning preparation, sacrifice to achieve the objective. You needed dedicated professionals. We have been blessed to have those professionals in this crew. The 100 plus that I get underway with our fantastic there, commit to their commitment to being the very best in every area is unmatched. Their sacrifice given for the love of this nation is unbelievable. The crew will continue to accomplish great things because everyone is moving in the same direction towards the same objective to defend this nation. I have no doubt that the U. S. Minneapolis-St. Paul will have success in the future because the crew understands the objective and they are committed to the mission. Minneapolis-St. Paul attend hut. I will either find a way take one. Thank you. Okay? Will the guests please rise and remain standing for the benediction that will be offered by chaplain. Spindle! Our benediction today comes from Psalm 107 versus 23 through 30. I invite you to join me in prayer again. Let us pray eternal. Father Strong, to save, as your word says, some went down to the sea and ships doing business on the great waters. They saw the deeds of the Lord His wondrous works in the deep, but he commanded and raised the stormy wind which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven. They went down to the depths. The courage melted away in their evil plight. They reeled and staggered like drunken men, and were at their wits end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still. The waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. May it be so for the crew of Uss Minneapolis-St. Paul for everyone gathered here today, for the people of Ukraine today, Godfrey, our minds from anxiety, our hearts from fear, and help us to live through your power and love in your holy name. And together we said. Amen, Will the guests please rise. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated and remain seated for the departure of our platform guests.