Navy prepares ship for commissioning in Duluth
The USS Minneapolis St. Paul will arrive in Minnesota nearly two years after its christening.
One of the U.S. Navy's newest littoral combat ships is slated to be commissioned in Duluth in the spring of next year, and while the USS Minneapolis St. Paul is expected to be one of the swiftest in the federal fleet, its trip toward active service will take considerable time to complete.
The vessel was christened and launched into the Menominee River on June 15, 2019 at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard, where the ship remains as it continues to be fitted out. A release from the Navy League of Minnesota explained that this includes installing the ship's power plant, engine, electrical system, plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as other equipment.
"This is much like the construction of a large hotel or office building, where you see the outside is done, but before the building is open, a lot of interior work must be completed," the release said.
Once all the work is done, the USS Minneapolis St. Paul will still need to undergo extensive builders trials, dock trials and acceptance trials in Lake Michigan to dial in systems and make sure the vessel performs as expected before it will be ready for commissioning.
The ship will be homeported in Mayport, Florida, with a crew of 140 sailors.
Many of those future crew members are undergoing special training for a unique mission, as the USS Minneapolis St. Paul is expected to become the first anti-submarine warfare littoral combat ship in the U.S. naval fleet.
The Navy League described anti-submarine warfare as a "branch of underwater warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines." The vessel is designed for speed and shallow-water, near-shore combat.