PCU Mississippi Sailors Volunteer with American Red Cross in Pascagoula
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- Sailors from Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Mississippi (SSN 782) volunteered with the American Red Cross in Pascagoula and packed hurricane preparedness materials May 30.
PCU Mississippi Sailors assisted the American Red Cross in advance of the kick-off to hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
PCU Mississippi, the ninth Virginia-class attack submarine, arrived in Pascagoula May 25 to prepare for the submarine's commissioning June 2.
In addition to assisting with the American Red Cross, PCU Mississippi Sailors also lent their assistance to Habitat for Humanity May 29.
Capt. John McGrath, PCU Mississippi's commanding officer, emphasized his crew's interest in assisting in volunteer projects while the submarine was in Pascagoula for its commissioning.
"PCU Mississippi Sailors amassed more than a thousand volunteer hours while the boat was under construction," said McGrath. "It was only fitting for my crew to do the same while we are visiting our namesake state."
Due to their extensive volunteerism the submarine received a Navy Community Service/Project Good Neighbor community service award in 2011.
Martha Duvall, American Red Cross communications officer, South Mississippi was pleased with the Sailors' support.
"We are excited and honored to have crew members from the USS Mississippi help assemble Red Cross emergency shelter kits," said Duvall.
Duvall added that the kits will be used throughout South Mississippi this hurricane season.
"Their volunteerism today will allow us to continue to be ready if and when called upon to open shelters," said Duvall.
Virginia-class submarines are built under a unique teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News. Construction on the submarine began in February 2007.
Once commissioned in 2012, Mississippi, like all Virginia-class submarines is designed to dominate both the littorals and deep oceans. It will serve as a valuable asset in supporting the core capabilities of Maritime Strategy: Sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.
PCU Mississippi will be commissioned June 2 in Pascagoula, Miss. The ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. CST, will be streamed live via www.livestream.com/usnavy as well as http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/. It will also be available via webcast at http://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/2421#.T7_T57BtaSo.