Welcome

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.

23. November 2016 · Comments Off on Preparations Underway for COLORADO Christening · Categories: Christening, KeyEvent

Preparations for USS Colorado’s Christening are well underway. General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard is expecting about 3,000 persons to attend this momentous event on December 3rd. Colorado will be well represented.

Colorado’s own Balistreri Vineyards has produced the sparkling wine that will be broken over the boat by the ship’s sponsor, Annie Mabus, as the boat is officially given its name. To honor the Battleship Colorado, which was christened in 1923 with a bottle of “muddy Colorado River water”, the sparkling wine will rest in a bucket filled with ice made with water from our own Colorado River. About ten veterans who served on the Battleship Colorado during World War II will be in attendance along with about 75 family members.

Over 100 Coloradans are planning on making the trip to Groton for the event. Senator Bennett and Representative Perlmutter will be part of the official party. Four members of the state legislature will be in attendance. In addition, the Colorado contingent will include members of the Commissioning Committee, Submarine Veterans and other supporters of USS Colorado (SSN 788). Several family members of native Colorado crew members will also attend.

As part of the activities of the day, the Colorado Thirty Group, a non-profit group which fosters understanding and cooperation between the civilian community, the government and the military, will present a sculpture of the ship’s crest which will be mounted on the boat when it is completed.

The Commissioning Committee will hold a reception for the Colorado contingent and the Crew on Friday before the Christening.

USS Colorado (SSN 788) is the 15th Virginia Class nuclear attack submarine and will be commissioned and enter service late next summer. It is the fourth ship to bear the name. Be sure to sign up on our web site for the Commissioning Committee’s newsletter and email list to keep abreast of committee activities and information about the commissioning. We hope to have an even larger group attend from Colorado for the Commissioning.

09. November 2016 · Comments Off on USS Illinois (SSN 786) Commissioned · Categories: Other Boats

On October 29th, committee members, Florence and JJ Mackin, visited Groton, CT to attend the commissioning of USS Illinois (SSN 786).   Len Waas, Illinois Commissioning Chairman, extended the invitation in the interest of having our committee learn from their experiences.

The Chairman’s Reception was held on the Friday evening before commissioning at the Mystic Hilton Hotel.  It was a celebration of the completion of the shipyard period and the hard work put in by the crew in preparing the ship for sea.  As committee chairman, Len acknowledged the contributions of the many sponsors who made the event possible.  During the program, several companies presented gifts to the crew.

We were also graced by a visit from Illinois’s favorite son, an actor playing Abraham Lincoln.  Mr. Lincoln shared his wisdom on the importance of the democratic process.  His words were especially noteworthy during the 2016 election season.

The Commissioning Ceremony itself was held on Saturday morning at 11am.  It was a lovely fall day in Groton with temperatures warm enough not to require jackets or coats.   The ceremony began with congratulatory remarks by high level Navy, Shipyard and political officials.  Unfortunately, the Governor of Illinois was not in attendance as the Chicago Cubs were playing in the World Series.

Michelle Obama, the Ship’s Sponsor, give a gracious speech expressing her pride in the achievements of the crew and the support of their families in getting the ship ready for commissioning.  She pledged her support for the crew over the lifetime of the ship.

The essence of the Commissioning Ceremony is when the Commanding Officer reports to the Chief of Naval Operations that the ship is ready for commissioning and the Commissioning Pennant is raised.  The Ship’s Sponsor then declares, “Man our ship and bring her to life.” And the crew runs on board as the ship’s whistle sounds.  It is a thrilling moment for all in attendance.

After the Commissioning Ceremony, a reception was held in a large tent at the head of the pier for all 4,000-people attending, featuring special foods from the state of Illinois, including deep dish pizza, ice cream, pulled pork sandwiches and craft beer.

The ship was open for tours after the ceremony.  The tours were very thorough with representatives from each division giving an overview of their spaces on board. The submarine is a technological marvel.  The professionalism, enthusiasm and pride of the sailors was evident as they described their roles and responsibilities. 

The event was well covered by the media. It even made the Denver Post. A video of the ceremony can be viewed at :https://youtu.be/v8fsBedDkcs. See the Navy press release and their photos of the event.

All in all, it was a highly rewarding experience.  We had discussions with several members of the USS Illinois Committee, who were very helpful in passing on their experiences in planning and executing the Commissioning week events.  We will have the opportunity to put these lessons learned into effect at the commissioning of USS Colorado next summer!

 

 

17. October 2016 · Comments Off on Christening Confirmed for December 3rd · Categories: Uncategorized

We have just received word that the Navy has confirmed December 3rd as the date for USS Colorado Christening. For those interested in attending please see the instructions below.

06. October 2016 · Comments Off on Christening Invitation Sign Up · Categories: Uncategorized

The date for USS Colorado Christening is confirmed for December 3rd. Electric Boat has asked for input for those desiring an invitation to the event. Inputs are due to them before the end of the month, so if you would like an invitation, please complete the form by October 26th.

Once the list has been submitted to Electric Boat, the formal invitations will go out. You must respond to the formal invitation to gain admittance to the Christening.

The shipyard will have a reception after the Christening but space is very limited and only a few from Colorado will get to attend. The Commissioning Committee will be holding our own reception, but the details have not been finalized. We will send the information to those who indicate a desire to attend the Christening.

The list of individuals desiring invitations has been forwarded to Electric Boat 

05. October 2016 · Comments Off on PCU Colorado Culinary Specialists learn Colorado cuisine from the State’s Top Chefs · Categories: Crew VIsit

The latest visit of crew members from the PCU (pre-commissioning unit) Colorado was structured to take a different direction. On this trip two junior Culinary Specialists, CSSN’s Oyedolapo Oworu and Thomas Carswell, traveled the state working under the guidance of Chefs employed at the top 5 star resorts to learn Colorado cuisine. This was designed to add a unique personality to dishes prepared for the crew onboard the soon to be commissioned USS Colorado (SSN 788).

Throughout the visit the Chefs were heard to say “We want to teach basics that they can take out to sea, while sourcing food products that are generally available and approved through Navy supply channels”.

Factored into the thought process was the fact that 400 meals are prepared per day, 24 hours and day seven days a week. This is done with a team of seven Culinary Specialists led by a Chief Petty Officer…and in a galley measuring roughly 10 by 20 feet.

Throughout the week visits included the Four Seasons Resort, Vail; the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, the Brown Palace, Denver; and Tom’s Urban in the lower downtown Denver entertainment district.

Not all events involved work as the crewmen were recognized during festivities at the Air Force/Navy football game and on the field as “Heroes of the Match” for the Colorado Rapids professional soccer team.

Projected in the Sailors’ manner was a pride of rating (training specialty), pride of being a Navy Sailor and submariner. “Cooking is more than a job, it’s an expression of creativity and an art form,” stated Seaman Oworu. This sense of pride does not come without superior leadership which is a cornerstone of U.S. Navy teamwork. This same uplifting style of leadership was observed throughout the various visits. The Chefs were noted for the respect they afforded all members of their staff. “Treat your employees as you would your guests,” was stated by Chef Johan Van Niekerk early in the visit, and observed throughout the week’s various events.
“In submarines where Sailors live in close quarters for months at a time, there are few distractions from their official duties. In this environment meals ARE morale”, stated Seaman Carswell, “They improve the ship’s ability to fight”.

This “namesake” crew visit provided high quality professional development and a bonding between the men and women of the U.S. Navy and many Coloradans. In summarizing the supporters who made this week such a resounding success, thanks go committee members Shauna and Yale King, Candice Green, Deb and Randy Zeller, Dan Puleio, and John and Florence Mackin.

Story by Committee Member and NRD Denver Public Affairs, Dan Puleio

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