Montana has a proud history of producing the defenders of our nation. Our great state is in the top 3 for veterans per capita with 1 in every 10 residents having served in the military. And we are honored the US Navy would chose our fair city as the namesake for a proud naval vessel.
As you may be aware, the US Navy held a Christening Ceremony for the USS Billings in 2017. With the official act of putting the boat in the water completed, we look forward to the next step, the Commissioning Ceremony, which signifies the boat and her crew are ready for active duty, and tasking them with the defense of our nation.
As we look forward to the commissioning August 3rd in Key West, FL, we begin preparations to honor the USS Billings and her crew. While the men and women assigned to the USS Billings take pride in her name, we ask our community to share in that pride and honor the warship named after our great city.
Our steering committee is currently seeking sponsors for this historical event. Donations will be used for the hosting of the USS Billings crew when they visit Billings in July of 2018. There are also plans underway to print commemorative coins traditionally issued at such an occasion and valued by members of the military.
Your support in anyway will be appreciated. Our steering committee will also plan, and participate in, the Chairman’s Reception, in Key West, FL. We would be honored if you could join us for this historic event. Major donors will be recognized.
We look forward to hearing back from you.
Mayor Bill Cole
Chairman, USS Billings Namesake Committee
The USS Billings (LCS-15) is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship in the United States Navy. She is named after the largest city in Montana and is the first ship in service name after Billings. With only 14 Freedom class littoral combat ships planned, the choice of Billings, Montana as the namesake is an incredible honor for the city of Billings and the state of Montana. The ship’s Sponsor, Sharla Tester, married to Montana Senator John Tester, christened the vessel on July 1, 2017.
The USS Billings is expected to be commissioned on August 3, 2019. As she sails into service, the Billings will be tasked with near-shore multi-purpose missions that utilize her ability to deploy and recover landing craft and helicopter aircraft.
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The new USS Billings is one of the Navy’s newest warships. It was built in Marinette, Wisconsin and is a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) that will operate in waters close to the shore. The vessel also has a helicopter pad, a ramp for small boats and can be used by small assault forces.
While the USS Billings is the 15th in the class of fast and versatile Littoral Combat Ships, it is the first time that Billings has been honored as a namesake city.