A naval ship named after Wichita will be placed into active service on Saturday.
The USS Wichita is a combat ship with a small crew of about 75 sailors. The ship specializes in offshore defense and maneuvering. It is nearly 400 feet long and weighs close to 4,000 tons. It is currently ported near Jacksonville, Fl.
Isaac Davis is a Chief Petty Officer aboard the ship. He graduated Wichita Heights High School in 1993 and has served in the Navy for 22 years.
He said the ship reflects the progress that his hometown has made.
"The ship represents one of the greatest cities in America," he said. "We've definitely come a long way. I think we've done really well representing Wichita and the people, the love, the support we've gotten from Wichita from the time it was being built up until now."
The USS Wichita was first launched in September 2016. It was acquired by the US Navy in August 2018. It is the third Naval ship named after Wichita.
A committee consisting of local officials will host a commissioning ceremony in Atlantic Beach, Fla., on Saturday. Sen. Jerry Moran will be the keynote speaker.
The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time. It will be live-streamed at www.navy.mil
Ray Strunk is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.