PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - It was an important milestone for the 29th Arleigh Burke class Destroyer built by Ingalls Shipbuilding: the Crew Move Aboard Ceremony getting the ship one step closer to being put to use by the US Navy.
Move-in day went smoothly for the John Finn DDG 113. The crew and captain set the first watch and spent their first full day on board. The 510-foot long ship will house more than 300 crew members.
The guided missile destroyer's namesake is the late John Finn, the first Medal of Honor recipient of World War II.
"It's a part of history - especially with John Finn with him being a chief and I'm a chief myself. It's just a great sense of responsibility, just a great feeling to know that I'm a part of this history," Curtis Gray said.
Crew members spent the first day cleaning and getting all settled into their new homes and gearing up for a rigorous few months as they learn the ins and outs of the ship.
"The crew will go through their light off assessments, the crew will train on the ship, they'll become familiar with the operation of the ship, they will be tested to make sure that they can operate the ship, to make sure that the ship is conducive to a war fighter," said Ship Program Manager Freddie O'Brien.
"It's obvious that the hard work and the anticipation of getting here has paid off everybody is excited to be on board and ready to get to work and get certified and be able to sail away and do our job," said Commanding Officer Michael Wagner.
The John Finn will set sail from Ingalls Shipbuilding this summer. It will be commissioned at Pearl Harbor July 15, 2017.