Port Tampa Bay celebrates the commissioning of the USS Jack H. Lucas Navy Warship (PHOTOS)

Port Tampa Bay was the host facility for the Naval Commissioning of the USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) warship, in October. 

The week leading up to the commissioning was filled with events celebrating the arrival and its historic meaning. 

“The commissioning of a U.S. Navy Ship is one of the most historic and time-honored traditions our military observes,” says Paul Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Port Tampa Bay.

Ship commissioning is the act, or ceremony, of placing a ship into active Navy service. 

The DDG 125 is named for Private First-Class Jack Lucas, who served in the U.S. Marines during World War II. Lucas received the Medal of Honor, recognizing his heroism in Iwo Jima, when he was 17 years old. In 1961 he returned to military service as a captain in the U.S. Army, training troops. He passed away on June 5, 2008. 

During the ceremony, held on October 7, The Honorable Erik Raven, Under Secretary of the Navy, wished the crew of Jack H Lucas “fair winds and following seas,” as the ship begins its commissioned service. 

“Commissioning the Jack H. Lucas means we continue to deliver fast, agile and networked surface combatants to the Navy. The Jack H. Lucas is built to fight. It is a fast, maneuverable, versatile and lethal ship – capable of tackling any mission it is given,” said Raven. “It will keep the Navy and Marine Corps adaptive, and ready, and also uphold our commitment to maintaining the free flow of commerce, deterring military aggression and facilitating quick responses to natural disasters across the globe.”

Commissioning week of special memories, three Sailors were meritoriously promoted at the close of the commissioning ceremony, Petty Officer First Class Boatswain’s Mate Victor Mejia, Petty Officer Second Class Boatswain’s Mate Lloyd Tillman and Petty Officer Third Class Damage Controlman Ruben Rubio. ♦

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