BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- The Buffalo Naval Park is getting ready to welcome the new USS Little Rock, four days early. The ship will arrive on Monday, Dec. 4.
Maurice Naylon, the chairman of the USS Little Rock LCS 9 Commissioning, told News 4 the ship is getting here early because the Navy decided it needed to move it from the ship yard.
It’s an active war ship so while it’s here, Canalside will become a secured area. Anyone visiting the waterfront will need to go through TSA type security screening.
The public has the opportunity to see the ship, stationed next to its namesake, through Dec. 17, when it will leave for its post in Florida.
“With the ship arriving early we’re hoping, and this will be a function of security considerations and so on, we’re hoping that will open up some additional time slots for tours,” said Maurice Naylon, the chairman of the USS Little Rock LCS 9 Commissioning. “We’re trying to accommodate veterans, people who have served in the Navy, people who have served on the Little Rock, those will be people we want to accommodate first and foremost.”
Anyone interested, should send an email explaining why they want a tour to email@example.com.
The commissioning ceremony happens on Dec. 16 and 6,000-9,000 people are expected to attend. There are no more available tickets. Anyone who registered for tickets before Nov. 19 will receive their tickets two weeks before the event.
There are about two dozen events in the week leading up to the commissioning, including a luncheon to honor Gold Star Families, and welcome parties for the crew and commanding officers.
The USS Little Rock Association will also be recognized. It’s made up of people who served aboard the original USS Little Rock. Naylon told News 4 the association was instrumental in getting the ceremony to happen in Buffalo.