"It's a big deal!" USS Milwaukee becomes newest U.S. Navy combat ship

MILWAUKEE -- It has been docking in Milwaukee for a week but today it's not just a ship, Saturday, November 21st it became a commissioned U.S. Navy war ship.

USS Milwaukee commissioning

The USS Milwaukee is a native, built in Marinette, Wisconsin.

"It's so cool to have a ship made in Wisconsin," said Jim West.

Jim West was a sailor in the early 70s, as a second class petty officer in the U.S. Navy. He too, sailed on a ship.

"It's now been mothballed for many years. But, you know, all of those guys that I worked with on that ship, I miss them," said West.

The weather couldn't stop the commissioning of the newest combat ship to enter the naval fleet -- or crowd that came to Veterans Park to see it.

USS Milwaukee commissioning

"Thank you for having Milwaukee here in Milwaukee! It's a big deal. It's a big deal for our community," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

USS Milwaukee commissioning

Governor Scott Walker handed over a Wisconsin flag to fly on the vessel. And Mayor Tom Barrett said the ship will signify the character of the city it's named after.

"And that's why this ship which will be a tough ship, a gritty ship, a ship that fights back and a ship that loves our nation is baring the right name at the right time," Barrett said.

USS Milwaukee commissioning

Admiral Michelle Howard did the honors.

"I hereby place United States Ship Milwaukee in commission," said Howard (applause).

Sponsor, Sylvia Panetta, turned the ship over to the crew.

"Officers and crew of USS Milwaukee, man our ship and bring her to life," said Penetta.

USS Milwaukee commissioning

The USS Milwaukee is the fifth battle ship to be named after the Brew City.