BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — History was made in Buffalo on Saturday when the Navy’s newest warship was commissioned next to its namesake. It’s a once in a life time experience crews will cherish forever.
“It’s been overwhelming. The town, both the contingent from Little Rock and Buffalo have gone above and beyond it’s more than we could ever hope for and the crew has had the time of their lives they’ll never forget it,” said Commander Todd Peters.
An experience made all the more memorable by chilly December Buffalo weather.
“It’s been an adjustment. Most of us have lived in Florida for a long time, some of the sailors had never seen snow prior to getting to Wisconsin a few months ago. So it’s been a challenge. I know my core pit has been busy trying to keep the crew healthy,” said Commander Peters.
The USS Little Rock was initially going to set sail Tuesday, but mother nature delayed those plans to Wednesday.
“There’s some predicted high winds and so even if we were to get underway we probably wouldn’t be allowed to enter the Welland Canals so we’re just going to wait for the winds to die down,” said said Commander Peters.
More than 50 sailors will man the ship as the core crew, preparing for a long voyage ahead.
“The transit through the Welland Canal in the St. Lawrence Seaway is probably some of the most challenging navigation any of us will ever do,” said Commander Peters.
Of the memorable longer than expected stay in the Queen City, Commander Peters says the hospitality is something he’ll never forget.
“The opportunity to be welcome into the city and meet the citizens and interact with them and to see how well the sailors have been treated by everybody has really been the part that is going to stick with me the most,” said Commander Peters.