BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Navy League United States (NLUS) Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council hosted an adoption ceremony for the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) at Norm Dicks Conference Center, Jan. 11.
USS Bremerton was the second United States Navy ship to be named in honor of Bremerton, Wash., a city which has been long associated with both the Navy and submarine force.
Mayor Patty Lent hosted the ceremony and NLUS Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council signed the official adoption papers of USS Bremerton.
"Tonight's celebration commemorates the official adoption of USS Bremerton and her crew by Bremerton-Olympic," said Congressman Norm Dicks. "This is a proud day of the city of Bremerton and its citizens. As a native of Bremerton it is an honor to welcome Cmdr. Kerr and his wife Hilary to our city. And we offer our deepest thanks to the 130-person crew serving our country on board USS Bremerton.
"I am thankful that the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Navy League has demonstrated support for the crew and its namesake submarine. This partnership is a testament to the patriotism of every Navy League member as shining examples of how much this community supports service members and their families," said Dicks.
The electric boat division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Conn., was awarded the contract to build the submarine Jan. 24, 1972; the keel was laid May 8, 1976, and was launched July 22, 1978 by sponsor, Mrs. Henry M. Jackson.
USS Bremerton was commissioned March 28, 1981, and Capt. Thomas H. Anderson was its first commanding officer.
Byron Faber, Navy League Trips and Tours worked closely with area organizations and USS Bremerton to make the event possible.
"As soon as we knew the Bremerton got the port call here a year ago, several of us in Navy League wanted to do everything we could to show our support to the crew," said Faber. "I gave them rides in my Ferrari and got to know the crew; we just had a blast...and we got the idea 'why don't we adopt this boat.' I've been the liaison ever since doing the spade-work to get it done...a lot of chatting with the CO to see what we could do. I'm just proud we can support our military any way we can."
Cmdr. Caleb Kerr, USS Bremerton commanding officer, and his wife flew in from Pearl Harbor to attend the ceremony to represent the boat and sign the official papers.
"I thank all who are here, for welcoming my wife and myself to this auspicious occasion," said Kerr. "The crew and I are very excited about the patriotic city Bremerton adopting our ship. I cannot tell you what it means to all of us on the crew to know there are people in Bremerton fully supporting us; especially significant for us as we prepare for a six-month deployment. All of your support is appreciated."
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Northwest, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cnrnw/.