SIOUX CITY | The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that the USS Sioux City will be commissioned in Annapolis, Maryland.
No date has been set, but the event is expected to take place later this year, according to a news release from the Navy.
"Annapolis is the home of the U.S. Naval Academy and has a long history of support to the Navy and Marine Corps. We are honored that they will host the commissioning ceremony for the future USS Sioux City," Capt. Patrick McNally, special assistant for public affairs to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, said in an email.
The USS Sioux City was christened and launched Jan. 30 at the Marinette Marine Shipyards in northern Wisconsin. Construction has been completed and the ship will undergo months of systems testing on Lake Michigan.
A large contingent of Sioux Cityans made the trek north for the launch. Chris McGowan, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce president, said he hoped that a large group could make the trip to Annapolis.
"Sioux Cityans remain enthusiastic about our ongoing relationship with this ship and her crew, and we look forward to bringing a delegation of our citizens to the home of the United States Naval Academy for this historic event," McGowan said.
During a November visit to Sioux City by future crew members, Cmdr. Shockey Snyder, who will be the USS Sioux City's first commanding officer, said the ship likely would leave Wisconsin and Lake Michigan in late 2017 and head for the commissioning site.
Once commissioned, the USS Sioux City will go to its home base in Mayport, Florida, before it's deployed. Snyder said it's most likely to be deployed to the Middle East in the Arabian Sea and Red Sea areas, but "the ship could be deployed anywhere."
The ship belongs to a new littoral combat class of ships, which are designed to be used closer to the shoreline and be used for mine detection, clearing mines, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.