Helena, Mont. Commissioner Visits Namesake Submarine
KITTERY, Maine - Los Angeles-class submarine USS Helena (SSN 725) hosted the City Commissioner of Helena, Mont. on Dec. 13 in an effort to increase understanding and strengthen ties between the submarine and her namesake city.
Commissioner Matt Elsaesser and Tyler Evilsizer, Helena native and current Harvard Kennedy School of Government student, toured the submarine, which is completing an Engineered Overhaul at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY). Following the tour, which was led by Cmdr. Paul Dinius, Helena's Commanding Officer, Elsaesser and Evilsizer received honorary plaques and ball caps during a special, all-hands quarters in the "Crew's Mess." After the presentation, the Commissioner spoke briefly, thanking the captain and crew for the opportunity to step aboard the submarine named for the people of Montana's state capital.
"This was the highlight of my trip!" remarked Elsaesser, who was elected in November 2007 and is currently serving as the youngest commissioner in the capital city's records, according to his biography.
Elsaesser and Evilsizer concluded the visit by joining Helena's Wardroom for lunch.
Elsaesser's visit comes three-months after five members of Helena's crew traveled to Montana for a short visit with the intent to rekindle a once-thriving relationship and explore the city they represented. During the crew's visit to Helena, many community members became reinvigorated with pride and interest for the ship and aspired to experience the boat firsthand. Elsaesser took the first of what promises to be several more opportunities for Helena community members to visit the boat.
Helena, which arrived at PNSY in September 2009, is projected to return to sea this spring.
- USN -
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Helena, Mont. City Commissioner Matt Elsaesser dons an Emergency Air Breathing (EAB) device and simulates an emergency during a tour aboard USS Helena (SSN 725). Elsaesser visited the Los Angeles-class submarine and her crew as part of an effort to increase understanding and strengthen ties between the submarine and her namesake city. (U.S. Navy photo by Master Chief Electronics Technician Chris Lancaster/Released)