Welcome to USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commissioning Committee web site. USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the 15th Virginia Class submarine and is currently under construction at Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Ct. It is expected to be commissioned in October or November 2017. The committee's purposes are to promote awareness within the state, provide support for the crew, and to help organize and raise money for the events surrounding commissioning.
Sunday May 29, 2016: Visiting crew members from the USS Colorado (SSN 788) were honored with the State Adjutant General’s request to have them hoist a Colorado flag from the roof of the State’s Capitol on the occasion of the Memorial Day weekend. This flag was subsequently given to them with the promise that it follow them on their many adventures in the upcoming week.
State Highway Sergeant Shawn Dominguez volunteered his free time to meet and escort the crewmen into the state Capitol, then up to the dome and ultimately onto the roof of the Capitol for the Flag raising ceremony. A Navy veteran himself, Dominguez stated “climbing to the roof of the capitol is NOT for the faint of heart. There are narrow ladders, a hatch and old wooden stairs to get to the base of the flagpole. There are no railings. The ascent can only be accommodated in fair weather.” Luckily the weather was perfect and this heart rendering event went off without a hitch.
The crew members also had the opportunity to visit the Battleship Colorado (BB 45) Memorial on the grounds of the Capitol and lay a wreath in honor of those sailors.
So where did this state flag travel?
While in Colorado the crew members conducted a wreath laying at the USS Colorado BB-45 and USS Grayling Memorials. They were honored on the Field at Broncos stadium for the Denver Outlaws game; CU Boulder’s Folsom Field following the 10K run of the Bolder BOULDER; Coors Field during the Memorial Day Rockies game; the top of Pikes Peak, inspirational source for Zebulon Pike’s America the Beautiful; and at the Air Force Academy during this year’s graduation ceremony.
All Coloradans should be justly proud to have a capitol ship of the United States Navy named after our great State. The last ship to bear the name USS Colorado was highly decorated WWII Battleship, BB-45, commissioned in 1923, over 90 years ago.
Story Navy Denver Public Affairs, Dan Puleio. Photos by Dan Puleio, Bruce Marsden and JJ Mackin
Four Crewmembers of USS Colorado (SSN 788) will visit the state Saturday 28 May through Thursday 2 June to participate in various presentations and athletic events. We are fortunate to have TWO Coloradans among them: Lt. (junior grade) Mike Nielson from Arvada and Yeoman Chief Petty Officer Joshua Erikson from Fort Collins. Events will include:
- Denver Outlaws Hero of the Game on-field recognition during the Saturday 28 May 6:30 pm game
- A special Colorado flag raising ceremony at the State Capitol. This flag will then be carried to all other events. This is followed by wreath laying ceremonies at the Battleship USS Colorado Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol and USS Grayling Memorial at Slone’s Lake Park, at 9 and 11 am respectively, Sunday 29 May
- Bolder BOULDER 10K Navy Formation Run, “P Wave” and recognition in the CU Boulder football stadium, Memorial Day 30 May
- Colorado Rockies Hero of the Game on-field recognition during the Monday 30 May 2:10 pm game
School talk at Widefield HS followed by a Cog Railway trip to the top of Pike’s Peak (inspirational source for Zebulon Pike’s God Bless America), Tuesday 31 May
- Denver Mint tour followed by a visit to renowned Colorado nature photographer, John Fielder’s gallery. (Fielder is donating artwork to adorn the common areas of the submarine.), Wednesday 1 June
- Special guest invitation to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation. Keynote speaker, President Obama, Thursday 2 June
All Coloradans should be particularly proud to have a capitol ship of the United States Navy named after our great State. The last ship to bear the name USS Colorado was a highly decorated WWII Battleship BB-45, commissioned in 1923, over 90 years ago.
Executive Officer LCDR Stephen Col along with ETR1 (SS) Kurt O’Donnell, MA2 (SS) Jason Lawrence and EMN2(SS) Luke O’Day from PCU Colorado visited Colorado from April 6 through the 8th. During their visit they visited several schools, met with the Governor’s Chief of Staff, visited the Olympic Training Center and attended a reception in their honor at Balistreri Vineyards.
The crew members arrived on Tuesday April 5th and were met at DIA by the airport’s Chief Financial Officer, Gisela Shanahan and members of the Committee.
On Wednesday the crew traveled to Colorado Springs first stopping by Garden of the Gods and then visiting Harrison High School ROTC and Pikes Peak Prep Charter School K-12 . They then went on a tour of the Olympic Training Center where they met Olympic boxer Ginny Fuchs. In the evening they attended Colorado Springs Navy League Council meeting and dinner.
On Thursday the crew visited Overland High School and George Washington High School and visited the Colorado Freedom Memorial and Battleship Colorado Memorabilia at the Naval Reserve Center at Buckley AFB. In the afternoon they visited the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Doug Friednash, and then received a special tour of the Colorado State Capitol.
Friday started with a visit to Campus Middle School before going to Coors Field to participate in the opening day ceremonies for the Rockies. In the evening they attended a reception in their honor at Balistreri Vineyards. About 160 persons came to meet with the sailors. Steffan Tubbs or KOA Radio was the emcee for the evening. Retired Vice Admiral Jay Donnelly was our guest speaker and showed slides and discussed the new construction process. There was a birthday cake and a toast to celebrate the Submarine Birthday. Noted Colorado landscape photographer John Fielder gave a presentation discussing the donation of his photography to decorate common areas of the boat. A silent and live auction generated about $7,000 for the committee. Overall it was a great evening.
On Tuesday, the last day of their visit, snow came to Denver and forced cancellation of the day’s events. The sailors were scheduled to visit two schools, Century Middle School in Thornton and Campus Middle School in Greenwood Village. Schools throughout Denver were closed due to the snow.
In the evening a reception had been scheduled at Balistreri Vineyards with about 80 persons signed up to attend. This event was also canceled due to the weather. Please check back as we are making plans for events to be held in spring 2016.
Chief of the Boat Brett Jackson participated in an interview on KOA Radio in the morning by phone. He provided some details about the state of the ship’s construction, and crew preparations to take the ship to sea.
On Monday December 14, Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont hosted the four visiting crew members to a VIP tour of their brewery after the school visits. The sailors tasted some of the Left Hand beers, and then were hosted to dinner at a local restaurant. The brewery delivered the sailors back to their hotel in Denver in their special Left Hand Brewing stretch limousine.
Left Hand Brewing is planning on having on having limited release USS Colorado beer issued around the occasions of both the ship’s Christening and Commissioning. A portion of the profits from those sales will be donated to the USS Colorado Committee Commissioning Fund.