USS Billings arrives in Florida for commissioning ceremony

Posted at 11:24 AM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 13:42:04-04

KEY WEST, FLORIDA – It took longer than expected, but the U.S. Navy warship named after Montana’s largest city made it home to Key West, Fla., where it will soon be commissioned.

Pictures of Friday’s homecoming, courtesy of Alex Malin Photography, were posted to the USS Billings Facebook page.

The Littoral Combat Ship and its crew arrived in Key West 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 work in Billings before heading to the commissioning ceremonies in Florida 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 USS 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 USS Billings will be commissioned on August 3.

-Reported by Russ Riesinger/MTN News