The USS Wichita will be commissioned in Florida today (Saturday, January 12). You can watch the ceremony live using this link: US Navy Video
Two Wichita area natives in the U.S. Navy are serving aboard the littoral combat ship that will bear their city's name.
Isaac Davis, a Wichita native and Derby native Brian Tanner are serving aboard the future USS Wichita as chief petty officers.
Davis, a 1993 Wichita Heights High School graduate is an operations specialist aboard ship, homeported in Mayport, Fla. Tanner, a 2001 Derby High School grad, is an information systems technician responsible for voice and data communications aboard the ship, the Navy says.
As chief petty officer, the Navy says Davis and Tanner's duties vary "depending on the needs and equipment of the ship." These duties include service as combat air controller, navigation and plotting specialist and warfare operator.
“I like the diversity of the command and the closeness of the crew,” said Chief Davis. "You get to meet new people that you wouldn't get to meet or experience in my hometown."
The Navy describes the USS Wichita as "a resilient flexible warship, designed from the keel up to affordably take on new capabilities – from the most advanced sensors, to the latest missiles, to cutting-edge cyber systems."
"Its speed, strength and versatility make it a critical tool to help our sailors achieve the mission," the Navy says.
Davis and Tanner say they've carried lessons learned from their hometowns into their military service.
“Living in my hometown taught me the importance of respect,” Davis said. "You work with a lot of sailors from different ranks and backgrounds, so it’s important to be a team player in order to complete the mission."
“I love the fact I am serving on a ship that bares the same name as the area where I grew up,” Tanner said. "It really gives you a sense of pride."