USS New York Commissioned

USS New York commissioned in NYCThe Navy's newest warship, USS New York, is commissioned with great fanfare in New York harbor on November 7, 2009.

The ship's bow stem is forged from 7.5 tons of twisted and charred steel salvaged from the wreckage of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

As the bow of the Navy ship New York cuts through the water each time she sets sail, her officers and crew will be led and inspired by the indomitable spirit of those innocent victims who perished at the World Trade Center in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, those whose only "transgression" against their attackers was their presence on American soil. Their spirits will live on in this powerful warship, which was designed to "take terror to the terrorists."

USS New York ship's crestIn a ceremony steeped in hundreds of years of naval tradition, the ship New York was placed in commission on behalf of the President by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. At that moment, she made the transition from ship New York to United States Ship (USS) New York. Among the dignitaries participating in the ceremony were New York Governor David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Secretary of State and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who was the keynote speaker. Also present were former Governor George Pataki and New York City's Mayor on 9/11, Rudy Giuliani.

USS New York's first captain, CDR Curtis Jones, a native New Yorker, read his orders and assumed command, reporting for duty to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead. The colors and commissioning pennant were hoisted, and the watch was set.

The ship's sponsor, Mrs. Dotty England, wife of former Deputy Secretary of Defense and former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, gave the order to "Man our ship and bring her to life." With that command, the officers and crew embarked and manned the rails. Smoke bellowing from the smoke stacks indicated USS New York was powered up and ready for service.

For anyone who has ever served in the United States Navy, and for many who haven't, it is very emotional moment, as a new ship of the line comes to life and joins the service of her country.

This short video captures the heart of the commissioning ceremony:

If the video doesn't start playing right away, click on the slider
at the bottom of the screen, or on the arrow in the lower left corner.

The commissioning ceremony was highlighted by a flyover of two V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. USS New York will carry Ospreys as part of her complement.

As she delivers her payload of roughly 700 United States Marines and their equipment to troubled regions of the world, the USS New York will "take terror to the terrorists." Around the globe, and especially by our enemies, our Marines are respected and feared as the fiercest, most effective fighting force in the world. And ships like USS New York will enable them to be even more effective wherever they are needed.

The commissioning crew of a Navy ship are known as "Plank Owners," a term derived from the days when Navy ships had wooden decks. Whenever a ship was decommissioned, her Plank Owners typically were entitled to receive a piece of her wooden deck. In today's Navy, with decks made of steel, it's more of an honorary designation than an entitlement to an actual piece of the ship. Nevertheless, Plank Owners carry with them a special affinity for "their" ship throughout their naval careers.

An unusually large percentage of the crew of USS New York is made up of native New Yorkers who volunteered to serve on this particular ship.

The ship will be open for public visits through Veterans Day, after which she will sail for her home port of Norfolk, Virginia, and begin training for her first deployment, likely in early 2011.

USS New York video from

The History Channel has created a commemorative DVD showing the construction of USS New York. Despite losing their homes to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, more than 1200 ship workers elected to remain, so they could continue to build the ship. Clicking on the DVD shown to the left will take you to a site where you can purchase the video.

The ship's challenge coin would make a very nice remembrance of the occasion, for yourself or someone else. Click on the coin on the right to be taken to a site where you may purchase one.
USS New York Challenge Coin

Related pages:

USS New York (LPD-21), was built with scrap steel from the Twin Towers.

At her christening ceremony, USS New York (LPD-21) is already demonstrating her toughness.

USS New York sets sail for commissioning in New York City.

USS New York will arrive in NY harbor on Monday, November 2, 2009. See the ship's schedule in port.

Amid a gala celebration, USS New York arrives in the Big Apple and renders honors at Ground Zero.

We Must Never Forget

We Remember

Letter to the terrorists from a US Navy pilot.

We Are the Nation

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