USS Sioux City will visit Annapolis for commissioning in November
By DANIELLE OHL | The Capital | Published: August 23, 2018
The USS Sioux City, a combat ship, will be commissioned at the Naval Academy on Nov. 17, making it the first combat vessel commissioned in Annapolis.
Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter announced Thursday the commissioning, which will culminate a week of community events.
“This is a unique opportunity,” Carter said. “We commission 1,000 officers to the Navy and Marine Corps every year and for the first time, we will have midshipmen as well as citizens from Annapolis and Sioux City to watch the commissioning of a ship of the line, a combatant.”
Carter said the academy expects about 5,000 people for the events leading up to the commissioning.
The USS Sioux City will be named after an Iowa city on the banks of the Missouri River. Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott said the landlocked city was “shocked” when the Secretary of the Navy chose it for the new ship’s namesake.
Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said the city will partner with the Navy to send city students on guided tours of the ship during the commissioning week events.
The Sioux City will be the first ship to be commissioned at the academy since 1993, when the USS Cyclone, one of the Navy’s first coastal patrol ships. Submarines and destroyers have visited the Severn River before, but had to anchor outside the city harbor because of their size and the shallow depth near the city.
An Argentine Naval Academy training ship visited in 1987. The USS Mobile Bay, a guided missile cruiser, the USS Cincinnati, a nuclear attack submarine, and the USS Vulcan, a repair ship, also anchored in the bay during the visit. In 1996, a destroyer named for former Naval Academy Chaplain Capt. John F. Laboon, Jr. visited the Chesapeake Bay. The submarines USS Maryland and USS Annapolis glided by in 1997 and 1999.
The Annapolis visited the Chesapeake Bay again in 2009. Recently, the crew of the Annapolis visited The Capital newspaper and presented staff with the vessel brow skirt, a type of banner that hangs across the gang plank from land to ship.
The to-be Sioux City is designed to navigate shallow water, as its job will be to confront enemy ships in waters close to the shoreline. The ship itself is about 378 feet long and 57 feet wide. It weighs 3,500 metric tons and will carry a core crew of 15 to 50 sailors. It was built in Marinette, Wisconsin, and dedicated by sponsor Mary Winnefield, wife of retired Navy Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld.