Several Tulsans To Attend Christening Of USS Tulsa

Friday, February 3rd 2017, 6:11 pm

A week from today, the Navy ship - the USS Tulsa – will be christened in Mobile, Alabama.

The ship is built, and while it won't go into the water next week, it's close to that point.

The ship’s sponsor, Kathy Taylor, will host 60 Tulsans at the christening next week.

1/3/2017 Related Story: USS Tulsa To Be Christened February 11

“We'll have a practice ceremony and then we'll take a tour of our LCS-16, The USS Tulsa,” she said.

Taylor got a final briefing from the Navy Friday, going over details of how to properly break a bottle on the bow and not get injured in the process.

She's seen ships like the Tulsa, but, next week she'll get a full tour.

Taylor said, “It's really a gorgeous, beautiful, sleek ship inside and the out.”

The delegation from Tulsa includes Mayor G.T. Bynum.

“I'll be down there representing our city for the christening of the USS Tulsa, not something that a lot of folks get to do as mayor, so I'm really excited to represent our city at that,” he said.

The Tulsa will likely go to home port in San Diego, but that's 18 months or so away.

The christening starts a shakedown cruise.

“Then it goes into testing, and when the testing is complete, we'll have a commissioning ceremony where it is formally accepted by the US Navy and goes into service for our country,” Taylor said.

For the next week, the ship is in dry dock, waiting to get into the water for what's expected to be decades of service.

Taylor said, “It's completely built but they have to wait for space in the dry dock to move it - it's a very large ship - before they move it into the water.”

The Navy has selected the executive members of the crew. They'll be visiting Tulsa in the spring, and starting what Taylor hopes to build into a close relationship between the ship and the city.