Navy’s USS Savannah to be commissioned outside namesake city
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The new Navy combat ship the USS Savannah will be commissioned in early 2022, but the ceremony won’t take place in its namesake city.
The Feb. 5 ceremony placing the vessel into active duty will instead take place in coastal Brunswick, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Savannah, said Mike Broadway of the U.S. Navy League.
The commissioning ceremony was moved from Savannah because of the backlog of cargo ships at the city’s busy seaport, Broadway told The Brunswick News. Ports across the U.S. are scrambling to keep up with a surge of imports as global economies rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.
Broadway said there had been discussions to move the USS Savannah’s commissioning to North Carolina until Gov. Brian Kemp got involved and insisted it be kept in Georgia. He said the governor helped make arrangements for the ceremony to be held at the Port of Brunswick.
“We will have people from the chamber, the mayor’s staff and state officials at the event,” Broadway said.
Measuring 400 feet (122 meters) in length, the USS Savannah is an Independence-class combat ship designated for anti-submarine warfare, according to the Navy. The ship is designed for a crew of more than 70 sailors and carries MH-60 helicopters and Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles.
Following its commissioning in Georgia, the Savannah is scheduled to head to its new home port in California.