We have the hours that the public can tour the ship. They are listed at the bottom of the Commissioning Ceremony Information page.
Captain Hall posted this message on the ship’s Facebook page on 13 September. The ship is due to arrive in San Diego on 15 September. We’re scheduled to see her pass under the Golden Gate Bridge on 6 October.
We’ve just made a beautiful Commemorative Baseball (how American!) available for sale. Check it out on our “Purchase Our Commemorative Baseball” page and follow the link to the vendor. You’ll also see that we’ve extended the period for bidding on the Matt Cain autograph baseball given by the San Francisco Giants organization for the benefit of the ship’s crew. Remember: proceeds from all sales go to the ship’s Morale and Recreation Fund.
Lieutenant Commander Sam Peterson, commissioning coordinator for USS AMERICA, has provided us with detailed security information. Please see the Security paragraph on the “Commissioning Ceremony Information” page of this website.
We’ve posted new information about the Commissioning Ceremony. Updated or new topics are: Parking; Security; Dress Code;Weather; Children; Disabled Access; Gifts for Donors; Postal Cachet; Items for Sale. See the Commissioning Ceremony Details page of this website.
The Oakland Marriott City Center hotel has quietly extended their offer for discounted rates. Identify yourself as a Commissioning USS AMERICA attendee when you call them. See the Hotels and Other Amenities page of this website.
For those who’ve received your invitations to the Commissioning Ceremony, you will note that the dress code specified for civilians is “Informal”, by which the Navy means “suit or coat and tie” (and its equivalent for ladies). That international expert of dress, Wikipedia, expands on the topic, I believe authoritatively:
Informal attire consists of, for men, a suit, the main components of which are a pair of trousers with a matching jacket. The suit is typically dark-coloured (with or without a pattern): gray, dark blue, brown, or black. The suit is worn with a long-sleeved shirt, dress shoes and a necktie.
Informal attire for women in its strictest interpretation is patterned after the male standard—a suit consisting of a jacket with matching skirt or trousers, plus a blouse. This interpretation of informal attire is not quite so commonly worn by women as by men, as there are other forms of female attire acceptable in informal settings.
Informal attire is today considered a conservative form of dress, appropriate for nearly all formal settings that do not require white tie or black tie. For instance, it is commonly worn in religious services, funerals, government, schools, and other contexts where casual attire is not accepted but formal attire would be considered excessive. At present, informal attire is the typical dress at daytime weddings in the United States, where it is a replacement for the increasingly rare morning dress.
Informal attire is also known as international standard business attire or business formal due to its strong association with business.
The average high temperature in San Francisco in mid-October is around 70 degrees. Bear in mind that temperatures this summer have been running in the cooler than average range. At ceremony time – 10 am – the typical cloud cover may not yet have burned off, and this will make the temperatures seem even cooler than the thermometer says.
On the other hand, because we will be close to the water, and because the sun seems brighter in San Francisco than elsewhere, it will be prudent to wear sunscreen.
USS AMERICA (LHA 6) arrived in Callao, Peru on 31 August. This will be the ship’s final foreign port call on her maiden cruise.
While in Callao, the ship and her crew will entertain Peruvian VIPs and other guests, participate in community relations projects and compete in now-usual soccer “friendly” matches.
The ship’s visit has historical echoes, as the U S Pacific Squadron frequently homeported in Callao during the first half of the nineteenth century. While officially neutral during Peru’s struggle for independence from Spain, the U S government directed that the tiny squadron of ships assume a “positive” neutrality, which sometimes resulted in our commanders there “tilting” toward the Peruvian patriots’ benefit.
When the ship leaves Callao, she will proceed north to San Diego, then on to San Francisco for her 11 October Commissioning. She will then return to San Diego, her home port.
The crew and embarked marines in USS AMERICA departed Valparaiso Chile on 27 August, after a three day visit. During the visit, the ship participated in joint exercises with the Chilean navy. Crewmembers also participated in community outreach activities, and competed with Chilean service personnel in a friendly soccer match.
The ship will be Commissioned into our Navy in San Francisco on 11 October, and home ported after that in San Diego.
For the last couple of days, USS AMERICA has been showing the flag and building friendships in Valparaiso. Embarked sailors and Marines have participated in exercises with their Chilean counterparts, crewmembers contributed work in a local children’s’ home, high public and military officials have already enjoyed American hospitality aboard. No reports yet of a soccer match!
You can see a few photos of the ship and embarked aircraft in this collection from Chile.
This visit represents something of a historical circle, as the earliest US Pacific Squadron, made up typically of 4 or 5 sailing men of war, made Valparaiso their home port from the 1820s until the Mare Island Navy Yard opened in San Francisco Bay, in 1856.
Continuing her trip from Pascagoula to her 11 October commissioning in San Francisco, USS AMERICA passed around the southern tip of South America on 19 – 20 August.
The Naval News Service reported that few US warships go “the long way around” these days. The trip features breathtaking views but also the potential for dangerous weather. Chilean Navy personnel, experienced in navigating these waters, accompanied the ship’s crew during the transit.
Just before this part of her trip, SECNAV Mabus and US Ambassador to Chile Michael Hammer made a call on the ship. Ship Commanding Officer Robert Hall noted that his crew demonstrated notable professionalism during this visit by high officials.