The crew of the LCS-11, the U.S.S. Sioux City, will have two missions when they're deployed: serve their country, and represent the city of Sioux City well.
"They know our standards are high," said SCPO Ian Thompson, U.S.S. Sioux City. "We want to do right by the city, and that we are the best out there representing Sioux City, and giving them everything the city deserves, and what they want." Senior Chief Petty Officer Ian Thompson was one of a dozen crew members, who traveled to Sioux City, in September, to unveil the ship's crest. The reception was overwhelming. "The amount of pride and respect they have for the military, and just in their day-to-day lives, it was heartfelt," said Thompson. "I mean I could really tell that the city was proud to have this."
Commander Kevin Ralston led that delegation to Sioux City. "Just the connection that I've gotten to make with the citizens of Sioux City that I've gotten to do on the two visits I've made has been awesome," said Ralston.
Among the men and women of the U.S.S. Sioux City is one Nebraska-native. "I work with radar," said OS2 Cole Lesiak, U.S.S. Sioux City. Operations Specialist Cole Lesiak was born and raised in Columbus, Nebraska. The Navy is in his blood. "My grandpa, my dad... he was in the Navy," said Lesiak. "His brother was in the Navy, so it's like a family tradition.
A nine-year Navy man, Lesiak is proud to serve his country, and serve aboard the U.S.S. Sioux City. "Best thing I ever did," Lesiak said.
For Chief Engineer Kevin Rhyne, the U.S.S. Sioux City is the fourth ship he's served on in his 18-year Naval career. "Whenever you commission a ship, or you go to a ship, you learn a little bit about the namesake," said LT Kevin Rhyne, U.S.S. Sioux City. "You sort of carry that with you. And, you don't forget it." Rhyne says ship's mission is just as important as the name on her stern. "As we bring her to life, it's going to mean a lot," Rhyne said.
It means a lot to the crew, and to the community with its name all over the Navy's newest ship. "We're just really, really happy to represent them," Ralston said. "And, we want to do so in the best light possible."
The future U.S.S. Sioux City may be launched as soon as December, or in January, weather permitting.