South Mississippi, Ingalls say farewell to the America
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -
It was a proud yet emotional goodbye Friday for many Ingalls
employees who spent years building the America. Crowds gathered along
the dock as the captain spoke his final words before setting sail on the
America's maiden voyage.
"We bid farewell," America Commanding
Officer Captain Robert Hall said over the intercom. "Thank you for this
incredible war ship. Thank you for the exceptional, world renown
hospitality over the past few years. We set sail in service our country.
God Bless you and God Bless America."
With that the ropes were
cast off and the ship, lined with sailors manning the rails in their
Navy whites, pushed away from the dock. "America the Beautiful" played
loudly and the crowd cheered.
"It is an emotional time to see it
finished and leave from here to go out and defend our country. It is a
great thing," Pascagoula Metal Trades Council President Michael Crawley
Shipbuilders at Ingalls spent the past five years building
the America. The ship is 844 feet long and 106 feet wide, and can hold
more than 1,200 crew members and 1,871 troops. It can also carry marine
"It was just an awesome accomplishment," Ingalls
President Bill Cuccias said. "It's really a proud moment to see the
shipbuilders of Ingalls produce such a fine warship as America, and to
actually see it sail away was kind of a culmination of all the efforts.
It's just a great sense of accomplishment; I'm proud of all our
The America and its crew will make several stops
in South America before arriving in San Francisco for the commissioning
on October 11. After officially being named the USS America, the ship
will then head to its homeport of San Diego.
"It is big, because
this goes into the fleet to defend our nation, defend me, you and
everybody else," Crawley said. "It's something great to know that the
workers here have produced this ship to go out and protect our country."
As the America sailed off into the distance, employees were back to work on the next LHA 6, the Tripoli.
just have to make sure we provide the best value, the highest quality
ship and the America is a testament that we did that," Crawley said. "We
will go even further for the Tripoli."
Ingalls shipyard delivered the nation's newest amphibious assault ship to the U.S. Navy on Thursday. America is 844 feet long and cost more than $3 billion to build.More >>
Ingalls shipyard delivered the nation's newest amphibious assault ship to the U.S. Navy on Thursday. America is 844 feet long and cost more than $3 billion to build. It was delivered to the Navy during a brief ceremony on the flight deck Thursday morning. Captain Robert Hall Jr. assumed command of the vessel.More >>