PCU Minnesota Crew Meets with Ship's Sponsor, Tours Nation's Capital
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Crew members and their families from the Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Minnesota (SSN 783), participated in a luncheon with the ship's sponsor, Mrs. Ellen Roughead, and met with Minnesota Congressional Representatives during their visit to Washington, D.C., July 14.
During their visit to the nation's capital, Cmdr. John Fancher, PCU Minnesota commanding officer; Lt. Cmdr. Craig Hempeck, executive officer; and Master Chief Electronic Technician (SS) Randy Reid, chief of the boat, visited U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MINN), prior to the luncheon with the ship's sponsor.
"This is an once-in-a-lifetime experience for our crew and their families; we are happy to have such a great relationship with Mrs. Roughead," said Reid. "We are thankful to be in our nation's capital for this visit and to meet with representatives from our namesake state."
The Senior Sailor of the Quarter, Machinist's Mate First Class (SS) Gabriel Piehl; Junior Sailor of the Quarter, Electronic Technician Second Class (SS) Daniel Johnson; and Ombudsman Katrina Piehl also accompanied the senior leadership to meet with the Minnesota senator.
During their visit, retired Vice Adm. John G. Cotton gave the crew and their families a guided tour of the Pentagon and 9/11 Memorial, which was organized by the ship's sponsor.
The crew then had lunch with the ship's sponsor, Ellen Roughead at the historic Tingey house. During the luncheon the crew received a surprise visit from the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead.
Dave Hutton, president of the Twin Cities Navy League and President of the PCU Minnesota Commissioning Committee and Jim Sillman of the Twin Cities Navy League organized the tour of the nation's capital for the crew and their families.
Minnesota will be the 10th Virginia-class submarine. Construction of the 377-foot long, 7,800- ton ship began in February 2008. The ship is expected to be delivered in 2013 – early to its contract delivery date. The name Minnesota was selected to honor the state's residents and their continued support of the U.S. military. Forty six Medal of Honor recipients were born in Minnesota - spanning from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.
WASHINGTON (July 14, 2011) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead and his wife, Ellen, host the crew of Pre-commissioning Unit Minnesota during a lunch at Tingey House on Washington Navy Yard. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst/Released)