Welcome to USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commissioning Committee web site. USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the 15th Virginia Class submarine and completed construction at Electric Boat shipyard and has been delivered to the Navy. After completing shakedown operations, it is expected to be commissioned on March 17th, 2018. Our 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.

21. November 2017 · Comments Off on WWII Battleship Colorado Veterans Visit CU for Veteran’s Day · Categories: Other Event

At their annual Veteran’s Day Program held this year on November 10th, the University of Colorado Boulder hosted two of the veterans who served aboard the battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) during World War II. Ken Jones and Jack Paris and their families visited to see the unveiling of additional artifacts from the battleship that are now on display in the University Memorial Center (UMC). The display includes the ship’s foghorn, uniforms, logbooks and the sewing machine of Clem the Cobbler. Elton Clem was a crew member for over 20 years. Also in attendance was Elton’s daughter Melinda Cooper and her family. Ken and Dorothy Jones traveled from Texas and Jack and Jean Paris came from California to be part of this event.

In addition to the artifacts at the UMC, a special plaque that will be mounted on the new USS Colorado was unveiled. The plaque contains the words of Ken Jones’ challenge to the crew of the submarine to carry on the traditions of the battleship. The plaque was created and donated by the SMART (Sheet Metal | Air | Rail | Transportation) Local #9 in conjunction with Kloppenberg & Co. and Omni Elite Sheet Metal. In the picture John Fleck, Director of SMART’s Apprenticeship and Training Institute, and Robert Ziegler of Omni Elite and his wife Shannon present the plaque to Ken and Dorothy Jones.

That evening the veterans and their families had dinner with Andrea Zelinko and Jimmy Baker of the UMC and George Lundeen. George is the renowned sculptor who is creating a special ship’s bell as a give as a present to the submarine from the Battleship Association. The bell had to be recast with the year 2018 after the Commissioning was rescheduled. He presented a second copy of the bell that will reside in the Veteran’s Memorial Lounge at the UMC alongside the bells that served on the previous three USS Colorado’s.


The veterans were also invited to attend the CU – USC football game on Saturday.

24. October 2017 · Comments Off on PCU Colorado to Hold Change of Command · Categories: Other Event

CDR Ken Franklin, Commanding Officer PCU Colorado (SSN 788), will be relieved by CDR Reed Koepp in ceremonies at Naval Submarine Base, Groton, CT. on November 3rd. The ceremony will be held at Pier 6 North starting at 10 AM. CDR Franklin is the first Commanding Officer of Colorado, having reported with the first major increment of the crew in the fall of 2014. At that point the boat was a series of hull sections being built in Quonset Point, Rhode Island and Newport News, Virginia. CDR Franklin has seen the boat all through construction, sea trials and delivery to the Navy. This is a most demanding period for the crew. He has orders to Italy.

CDR Koepp reports to Colorado from Executive Officer of Nuclear Power Training Unit, Charleston, South Carolina. For complete biographies of both officers, see our Leadership Page.

The Change of Command Ceremony is the traditional naval ceremony that marks the formal transfer of authority and responsibility of command between two officers.

Committee Members J. J. and Florence Mackin will represent the Commissioning Committee at the ceremony.

09. October 2017 · Comments Off on USS Washington (SSN 787) Commissioned · Categories: Other Boats, Other Event

In ceremonies at Naval Station Norfolk on Saturday October 7th, USS Washington (SSN 787) joined the fleet as a commissioned US Navy warship. Held on pier 12 at the naval station, between three aircraft carriers at adjacent piers, the weather was bright and sunny on this October day in the Tidewater area. Ship’s sponsor, Elizabeth Mabus, gave the traditional “Man our Ship and Bring Her to Life” command as the crew ran aboard. This was preceded by remarks from shipbuilders and politicians from both Virginia and Washington state. The senior person from Washington was Lt. Governor Habib. Placing the ship in commission for the Chief of Naval Operations was Admiral Frank Caldwell, Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

Earlier festivities were the Chairman’s Reception the evening before held at the Half Moon Cruise and Celebration Center. At this reception a number of sponsors presented gifts to the ship. Attending Washington’s events were Colorado Commissioning Committee Chair, JJ Mackin and his wife Florence, who were graciously invited by Washington’s Committee Chair, retired Rear Admiral Mike Sharp. They were able to observe the key events which will be invaluable in planning for Colorado’s Commissioning. Colorado is the next submarine to be commissioned on March 17th, 2018.

During the reception they spoke to Admiral Caldwell about Colorado. The Admiral rides all new construction submarines on their initial Alpha Sea Trials. He had very positive comments about the performance of the crew while he was aboard!

21. August 2017 · Comments Off on USS Colorado Crest Presented to State Capitol · Categories: Other Event

On Friday August 18th, the Colorado Thirty Group presented a bronze sculpture of the Ship’s Crest to the State Capitol. Don Addy, Executive Director of the Colorado Thirty group, State Senator Bob Gardner, Sponsor of the USS Colorado Support Bill passed in the last session of the legislature, and JJ Mackin, Chairman of the Commissioning Committee appeared before the State Capitol Improvements Committee to make the presentation. This crest is another copy of the one presented to the boat at Christening and now is mounted in the Wardroom. The Colorado Thirty Group has also presented a copy to the Pentagon and will present a fourth copy to the City of Colorado Springs in October. The crest will be mounted sometime next spring in the South wing of the Capitol

The Colorado Thirty Group, founded in 1978, is a state-wide military support organization providing educational events to its participants. The group also provides Colorado military installation commanders with connections to communities in the state and acts in support of military missions.

05. August 2017 · Comments Off on Committee makes presentation to Senator Gardner · Categories: Committee Event, Other Event

On July 21st the Committee, in conjunction with sponsor Charles Schwab, presented a framed picture of the ship’s crest to Senator Cory Gardner. On hand were Committee members Ryan Schwab, Dick Cooper and Florence Mackin along with several members of Charles Schwab organization at the Schwab campus in Lone Tree. Several members of Senator Gardner’s staff were also on hand, including 3 interns working for the summer in his Denver office. The Senator was interested in the activities of the committee over the past 3 years. He was proud to add his signature to our “traveling” picture of a Virginia Class submarine, and was quite impressed with the picture of the ship’s crest which will hang in his office in Washington, DC.

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