USS Milwaukee set to represent the city while defending our freedom

Tools

by Matt Doyle

MILWAUKEE -- It'll defend the United States for more than 30 years.  And it will represent Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin across the world. 

"They're fast. Very fast."

It's the fastest and most versatile ever made. 

"That allows us to keep up with technology," US Navy Commanding Officer Michael Brasseur said.   "We're getting new technology, we can plug  that in and we can execute our mission smartly."

The fifth USS Milwaukee has a unique distinction. 

"We have this wonderful opportunity to have a ship named Milwaukee, built here in Wisconsin, being commissioned here in Milwaukee," Retired Vice Admiral Dirk Debbink said.   "And sailing on Lake Michigan for at  least a short while coming up."

Built by Wisconsin workers in Marinette.   "It's a really big deal."  The ship will carry Milwaukee's brand throughout the world as it defends the United States.

"It is a warship. It really is a warship," Debbink said.

The Littoral Combat Ship or lcs is a new class of Navy ship.  The features and functions let it stay ahead of technology advances.

"When we get new technology," Debbink said.  "The ship will literally be able to plug in the new module  and the control council and the things you need to operate that equipment will all be  common whether your controlling an underwater robot, a surface robot, or an aerial  robot."

The crew will be smaller than previous war ships - about 54.  But that's because the ship is efficient.

"It's fully automated," Brasseur said.  "What would normally require a crew of 200, we're doing with 40  to 50 personnel.
   
The group of sailors train in sunny San Diego, but felt brew city pride during this week's kickoff breakfast.

"We want our ship to be a reflection of the city of Milwaukee," Brasseur said.

The crew will leave San Diego for Marinette in September.  They'll train on the ship in Lake Michigan. 

"We're very proud on USS Milwaukee," Brasseur said.  "Our crew is very excited to get done with the  classroom stuff, to get done with the training and to get to the ship."

The ship will be ready for deployment in 2015    The USS Milwaukee will be commissioned in the spring of 2015.  That will be at Veterans Park.  The ship itself will be here a week before so people can get an up close look at it.

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