One of the U.S. Navy's newest ships, the USS Anchorage, will be commissioned May 4 at the Port of Anchorage -- but some of its senior officers are visiting town this week, discussing the new ship's Alaska influences.
The ship's symbol includes moose antlers, an anchor from the Municipality of Anchorage's logo and an image of Royal Navy Capt. James Cook's vessel, the HMS Resolution. The Anchorage's captain, Cmdr. Brian Quin, says the ship's Latin motto -- "Nil Fato Relinquemos" -- translates to "We Leave Nothing to Chance," and was inspired by a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
"In the end, just like the Alaska Natives, we leave nothing to chance, so i picked that as the motto," Quin said. "'We Leave Nothing to Chance' -- it's not just a bold boast, but it's something to live up to every day."
According to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the amphibious transport dock ship measures 684 feet in length, with a standard complement of 32 officers and 364 enlisted personnel. The ship took about two years to build.
"It's just a wonderful experience to be involved in a ship from the early days of ship construction and the early days of formation all the way through," Quin said. "Sailing away from our building yard in New Orleans, around through the Panama Canal, home in time for Thanksgiving."
The Anchorage is designed to support amphibious operations, and will be used to transport hundreds of Marines and their equipment to various destinations. It is the second Navy ship named after Anchorage, following the first vessel's decommissioning in 2003.
The commissioning ceremony will be the first time a Navy ship has entered service while in Alaska.