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New Orleans Opens Doors to Namesake City

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070309-14
Release Date: 3/9/2007 2:18:00 PM

By MCSN Amie Roloson, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- Crewmembers from PCU New Orleans (LPD 18) invited residents of the ship’s namesake city aboard for tours in the week leading up the ship’s March 10 commissioning ceremony.

Sailors from the crew led groups of visitors through the ship to view the unique features of the second ship in the San Antonio-class.

“We’ve heard about the ship,” said New Orleans native Kenya Campbell. “To actually get on the ship and see the name of the city on it is something good for the city to enjoy after everything we’ve been through.”

Campbell came to the ship as a chaperone for elementary students from a local school. She said it was a good experience for the children, and she thinks they will always remember their visit.

Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Jason Brown said he is glad to be able to share that experience with the people of New Orleans. Brown spent his watch handing out pamphlets and talking to those waiting to board the ship.

“I enjoy talking to the public. They have a lot of questions and are curious about what we do on the ship,” said Brown. “I’ve been working on the ship two years. It’s good to finally be able to share it.”

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Netzahualcoyotl Lopez said being a tour guide and seeing people’s reaction to the ship bearing the name of their city was a unique opportunity.

“I think having a brand new ship with the name New Orleans is a reminder that the city can continue to rebuild itself,” Lopez said.

Paul Murphy, an eight-year resident of the city, agrees that seeing the name of the city on the U.S. ship is an important morale boost for the community of New Orleans.

“I think the people in this city kind of take ownership of the ship,” Murphy said. “Everywhere the ship goes its going to carry the name of New Orleans and a little bit of the city with it.”

The New Orleans is the first ship to be built in its namesake city. Many of the crew’s Sailors were here when Hurricane Katrina struck the city.

“I got a sense, being on board [for the tour], that it means more to the crew to be serving on the ship named the USS New Orleans having been through the storm,” said Murphy.

“It makes them part of us,” added Campbell.

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