BALTIMORE (WBFF)- Baltimore, Md. has been selected by the Navy to be the site of a commissioning ceremony for the USS Zumwalt, a new Navy warship.
According to sources familiar with the process, Baltimore was chosen over several other cities including Newport News, Virginia and San Diego.
The commissioning ceremony will officially launch the 600-foot destroyed into the Navy fleet and will be permanently docked in San Diego.
Navy Captain James Kirk, a Maryland native and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, is commander of the ship, which was built and is currently docked in Maine.
Captain Kirk, who was in Baltimore Friday, said, “Being in Charm City, it’s great to be here so as you look out around the harbor, it’s hard not to look forward to that future date.”
Baltimore City officials are in the early stages of planning a week-long series of events leading up to the commissioning of the warship in September 2016.
Because of the ship’s size and due to security concerns, the ceremony will not be held at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor where many visiting ships are docked.
Instead, the ship will be temporarily be docked at a cruise ship terminal in Locust Point, a few miles south of downtown Baltimore.
Because of the USS Zumwalt’s incredible size, Alan Walden, President of the Baltimore Council of the Navy League of the United States, says, “This is the most revolutionary warship to be built in the past
110 years since the advent of the big gun battle ships. It’s big, it’s powerful, it has stealth technology, it has a new type of propulsion system, it is extraordinary in any number of ways.”
Walden says the planned week-long events leading up to the ship’s commissioning ceremony, is expected to draw big crowds to Baltimore next year.
“What it will bring to the city in prestige and national interest, we can only hope hundreds of thousands will attend the event itself,” said Walden.
Captain Kirk says, “Baltimore has a great maritime heritage and bringing in a new ship of warships to the fleet in Baltimore, you couldn’t ask for a better place.”