Plans finalized for arrival of future USS Little Rock LCS 9

10 day commissioning visit begins December 8th

November 10, 2017 - 9:26 pm
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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) -  It's been three weeks since the USS Little Rock LCS 9 Commissioning Committee, led by Chairman Maurice L. Naylon III, received the message they had been waiting for.  It came from Command Todd Peters, commanding officer of LCS Crew 109.   Commander Peters confirmed the USS Little Rock LCS 9, one of the newest US Navy littoral combat  ships (LCS), will make her way to Buffalo for an official Commissioning Ceremony on Saturday, December 16, 2017.  

“I was delighted when Commander Peters gave us the official word on the date of the commissioning.” commented Naylon. “The  work of our Commissioning Committee would finally start to fall into place and we could begin to get the word out about this event.”

The event is historic for LCS 9, her crew, the Navy and all of Buffalo and Western New York as this will be the first time in the 242-year US Navy history, that a new ship is commissioned alongside her namesake - the original USS Little Rock, now on permanent display at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park. This ship was in service from August 27, 1944 until her decommissioning in November 1976.

LCS 9 and her crew are expected to arrive in Buffalo on Friday, December 8th for a 10-day Commissioning Week visit. Commissioning Week will run from December 8 -17 and will include events for the general public, the LCS 9 crew and their families, and distinguished guests. 

The Buffalo Naval & Military Park will be open during Commissioning Week giving people a truly once in a lifetime opportunity to see both ships.  

Canalside will be open during the Commissioning Week so the general public can view LCS 9 with the exception of the Commissioning Ceremony on Saturday, December 16 when tickets are required.  Canalside streets will be closed to vehicle traffic and visitors are encourage to use the NFTA MetroRail to get to Canalside for Commissioning Week and especially on Saturday, December 16.

The Buffalo Commissioning Committee along with counterparts in Little Rock, Arkansas, are planning a very full week of activities, events and celebrations. The schedule of events for Commissioning Week will be available on the Commissioning Committee website - usslittlerocklcs9.org - but a few key events include:

Friday, December 8th 12:00 - LCS 9 and her crew arrive at Canalside escorted by the Edward Cotter Fireboat. The public is invited to come to Canalside and welcome the ship to Buffalo.

Saturday, December 9th at 2:00pm - the Army Navy Game Watch Party hosted at Buffalo RiverWorks.  The public is welcome to watch the big game with the crew and their families.

Tuesday, December 12th  - the Katharine Pratt Horton Buffalo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is hosting a Gold Star Mothers Luncheon at noon.

Friday, evening December 15th is the Commissioning Committee Chairman’s Reception and Gala at the Hyatt.

Saturday, December 16 is the big day - at 1100 when the Commissioning Ceremony takes place at Canalside. The Commissioning Ceremony will be followed by a post commissioning reception for all attending the Ceremony.  This reception will feature some Buffalo’s most famous foods - chicken wings, pizza, beef on weck and more.

Tickets to the Commissioning Ceremony are free, however registration is required - and seating is limited.  Anyone that would like to register for tickets to the Commissioning should visit the Commissioning Committee website usslittlerocklcs9.org, complete and submit the registration form.  

Due to the space limitations for the Commissioning, demand for tickets will be greater than the supply of available tickets. More than 5400 people are already registered for tickets.

USS Little Rock - Moe Naylon.mp3

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