Welcome to USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commissioning Committee web site. USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the 15th Virginia Class submarine. It was delivered to the Navy on September 21, 2017 and is currently conducting shakedown operations. After shakedown is complete, it will be commissioned on March 17, 2018 at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT. 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.

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.

14. November 2017 · Comments Off on PCU Colorado (SSN 788) Holds Change of Command · Categories: KeyEvent

It was a beautiful fall day in Groton on November 3rd, as CDR Reed Koepp relieved CDR Ken Franklin as Commanding Officer, PCU Colorado (SSN 788) in the Navy’s traditional ceremony at the Naval Submarine Base.

Commander Franklin is the first Commanding Officer of Colorado, having reported with the first major increment of the crew in the fall of 2014 when the boat was just parts. He has seen the boat all through construction, sea trials and delivery to the Navy. He and his wife Toni will move to Naples, Italy where Commander Franklin will report as Deputy Commander of Task Force 69, which is responsible for all US submarine operations in the Mediterranean. Commander Franklin is a native of Plant City, Florida.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning and, after graduation from Florida State University, was Commissioned in 1996. He has been selected for promotion to the rank of Captain.

Ship’s Sponsor, Annie Mabus was present at the ceremony and gave some heartfelt remarks. She praised Commander Franklin for his tour and for making her feel welcome as a part of the the  Colorado family. She welcomed fellow Mississippian Commander Koepp as the new Commanding Officer. The principal speaker at the ceremony was Captain John Tolliver, Deputy Director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs. Captain Tolliver has been a mentor to Commander Franklin for many years of his naval career.

In his remarks Commander Franklin thanked the crew for their hard work and dedication in building the boat from scratch and welcomed Commander Koepp and his wife, Aimee, to Colorado. For his tour aboard Colorado, Commander Franklin was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Commodore of Submarine Squadron 4, Captain Brian Sittlow.

After the ceremony the boat was open for visiting. A reception was held at the Officer’s Club on the base with a cake decorated with the Ship’s Crest. Commander Franklin described the story of the ship’s crest contest and how it was won by one of the officers now on board, Lieutenant Mike Nielsen.

Commander Koepp reports to Colorado from Executive Officer of Nuclear Power Training Unit, Charleston, South Carolina and is a graduate of Louisiana State University.

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