Warm Welcome for USS Gravely

Monday, November 15, 2010 - 8:02am

Ship named for first African-American to command a ship in combat will be commissioned next week.

It looked like a pep rally at the end of Wilmington, North Carolina's Shipyard Boulevard Friday as
town leaders and family welcomed nearly 300 sailors aboard the USS Gravely.

The ship was named after Vice Admiral Gravely, the first African American to command a ship in combat.

USS Gravely's visit has been highly anticipated as the ship's commissioning will take place November 20.

The ship is state of the art and has new missile technology to be used in anti-piracy striker missions.

Tours of the ship will start November 13 and go through the 21, however all tickets have sold out.

"We have a lot of military personnel, over 70,000 people that have retired here in south eastern North Carolina and it is an honor to have a U.S. warship like the Gravely be commissioned here," said Mayor Bill Saffo.

After the sailors spend over a week in Wilmington they will travel to Norfolk, Virginia, the ship's home port.

After they arrive in Virginia they will head out to sea.

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