KEY WEST, FLA.- It took a little longer than expected, but the U.S. Navy warship named after Montana’s largest city has now made it home to Florida, where it will soon be commissioned.
The U.S.S. Billings posted pictures of Friday’s homecoming to Mayport, Fla. on its Facebook page courtesy of Alex Malin Photography.
The Littoral Combat Ship and its crew arrived on Friday, much to the delight of many of the crew’s families who were eagerly awaiting their return.
Meanwhile, the USS Billings Commissioning Committee is getting ready to wrap up a lot of work in Billings before heading to the commissioning ceremonies in Key West, early next month.
“There’s a lot of cities in the United States, and for the city of Billings to be one of the 40 out of the total LCS program is an honor— just something I never thought would happen,” said Ron Spence, who says he has worked for two years on the U.S.S. Billings Commissioning Committee.
Billings Mayor Bill Cole said he’s looking forward to the commissioning ceremony.
“It’s such a great honor for our community. The community is kind of figuring out that this is a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity, so it is just exciting,” Cole said.
The U.S.S. Billings will be commissioned on Aug. 3 and MTN will be there to cover it.
Reporting by Russ Riesinger for MTN News