Navy sub crew to visit campus to build connection

Friday, March 20, 2009 | 11:58 a.m. CDT; updated 5:09 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 21, 2009

COLUMBIA — Crew members of the USS Missouri, a Navy submarine under construction, will visit MU on April 1 to build their boat's relationship with her namesake state.

Cmdr. Dale Green and Lt. Justin Hardy have a full schedule of tours and briefings for their visit to the university.

"The purpose of this whole trip isn't really recruiting," said Lt. Michael Keating, a Naval science instructor at MU. "Their goal is really to build a good relationship with the area and especially with the university.

"I've been kinda told that they're looking at decorating the wardroom and the living spaces and the crew's mess - where the crew eats. They're looking at trying to take on some sort of Mizzou theme, with Truman the Tiger and Mizzou colors."

The majority of attack subs in the Navy's fleet are Los Angeles-class subs, which Keating described as "starting to age out."

"The Virginia-class submarine is the attack submarine that's gonna be replacing the majority of that submarine fleet," Keating said.

The USS Missouri is the newest Virginia-class submarine in construction. The sub will take advantage of new technology, including what Keating called a "photonics mast" – an updated version of the periscope that utilizes digital cameras and laser range-finding technology.

The crew will also travel to Jefferson City on April 1 and April 2 to hold fundraising events for the sub's commissioning, which will take place in late 2010 or early 2011.

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James Licklider March 21, 2009 | 9:38 a.m.

I was a submarine sailor for 25 years and it is good to see them name one after the great state of Missouri. The battleship Missouri was a great ship and I know the submarine USS Missouri will be a great one. God bless all who sail on her. May she have fair winds and following winds with her all of her days at sea.

(Report Comment)
James Licklider March 21, 2009 | 9:40 a.m.

I meant to say fair winds and following seas with her. Just need another cup of coffee.

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