USS San Diego, an amphibious transport ship, was formally commissioned at Navy Pier in downtown San Diego Saturday morning.
The official U.S. Navy ceremony began at 10 a.m. and featured a commissioning crew of sailors – also known as “plank-owners” -- who were onboard during the construction of the ship.
The commissioning ceremony is naval tradition and historic event for a ship, as it marks the moment the new vessel is formally placed in active service in the fleet.
USS San Diego’s sponsor Linda Winter, wife of former Secretary of the Navy Dr. Donald Winter, was on deck during the ceremony.
She gave the command to “man our ship and bring her to life,” marking the beginning of USS San Diego’s service to the Navy and the United States.
USS San Diego is the fourth ship named after America’s Finest City and the first to be homeported in San Diego.
It will also be the only ship in the fleet currently homeported in her actual namesake city.
According to the Navy, the vessel’s keel was laid on May 23, 2007, at the Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
The ship was christened on June 12, 2010, and delivered to the Navy on December 19, 2011.
After a voyage from Mississippi with stops at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Cartagena, Colombia, the ship arrived in San Diego on April 6.
Today, USS San Diego is officially ready to serve.
For more information, visit the ship’s Facebook page.