After extensive planning and discussion, the U.S. Navy could be close to commissioning the new USS Little Rock littoral combat ship in downtown Buffalo.
Daniel Mecca, who sits on the local Commissioning Committee, said the long-anticipated event might be held in December. The original plan was to stage the event this past June. Mecca was asked if planners have concerns about a December commissioning.
“It’s not our first choice, but if you’re going to hold a commissioning in the wintertime, there’s no better place than Buffalo, New York,” he replied. “Because we know how to deal with winter weather. We also have a great venue at Canalside.”
When the Navy welcomes its newest high-speed warship into active service, it will be a milestone, Mecca noted.
“It’s the first time in the Navy’s history of 241 years that a new Navy ship will be commissioned alongside its name sake, the USS Little Rock, which is permanently displayed at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park.”
It will also be the first time in history that a naval ship has been commissioned in Buffalo. Planners are expecting a large crowd. Reservations for free tickets can be made online.
Mecca said many individuals have been toiling behind the scenes to organize the event.
“It’s been a long time in preparation and we’re starting to see this all coming together, so the commissioning committee is very excited to bring this ship to Buffalo and have it commissioned here.”