PCU Texas Being Commissioned Today
PCU Texas (SSN 775) will officially join the fleet as a commissioned warship today at 100o CDT in Galveston. A live webcast of the commissioning ceremony is going to be offered at this link. It should be a lot of fun!
Update 2314 10 Sept: By all accounts, the ceremony was a big success! Commenter SubSunk provides this report:
It was a pretty large turnout and a pretty decent ceremony. I couldn't hear well where I was standing, but the webcast is a great touch. Apparently the speeches were well recieved, the crew was extremely polite to all, and the dignitaries were well liked by the locals.Those who missed the ceremony can still view the webcast here. (It's about 90 minutes long.) For me, the most boring part of the ceremony is always the gun salute -- for some reason, at commissioning ceremonies, they always use only one gun, so it seems to take forever, and those rendering salutes look kind of silly holding it for so long. (For USS Connecticut's commissioning, I had the "traditional" Engineer's role of being in charge of the formation of crew members who didn't do anything else for the ceremony, so I was one of those who got to salute the whole time.)
All in all, a good performance by the crew, the commissioning committee, and the supporting commands who assisted. Well done, all. Mrs. Bush was particularly popular, and was very gracious to the entire crew and the dignitaries and their families. We are very lucky to have such a lady representing the country, and the state of Texas.
The Sub Report has lots of links to coverage of the event, including these pictures. (The Navy's pictures can be found here.)
SubSunk's comments about the First Lady caused me to think back to the last time we had the First Lady serve as a sponsor of a submarine. Hillary Clinton (now Senator Clinton) served as the sponsor of USS Columbia (SSN 771). Like Mrs. Bush, she attended the ship's christening (2nd picture down here). However, when it came time to commission the boat, she couldn't find time in her schedule to attend.
And as petty as it might sound, that is the #1 reason I could never vote for her to be President.