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U.S.S. Missouri recognized at State Capitol

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Commander T.A. Rexrode, captain of the U.S.S. Missouri.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – A ceremony honoring the latest U.S. Navy ship to bear the name "Missouri" was held today at the State Capitol.

The new U.S.S. Missouri (SSN-780) is a nuclear-powered submarine. It was commissioned this summer and has been undergoing testing out at sea.

Commander T.A. Rexrode is the U.S.S. Missouri's skipper.

"Both the crew and the ship are performing very well," Rexrode said. "We've got several more weeks of typical testing and trials and things like that to do, but so far I couldn't ask for a better ship."

The officers and crew of the Missouri trained on land before putting to sea.

"The simulations we have, the technology we have to train onshore before we take these ships out of new construction really do the job, so the crew was trained from day one...they didn't miss a beat," Rexrode said.

For security reasons, Rexrode wouldn't identify where they've sailed.

The Virginia-class attack submarine is the fifth U.S. Navy ship named after the Show-Me State. The last U.S.S. Missouri was the battleship that hosted the Japanese surrender ceremony that ended World War Two.

Governor Jay Nixon hosted today's ceremony. Also in attendance was Becky Gates, the U.S.S. Missouri's sponsor. She's a native of Warrensburg and the wife of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Becky Gates christened the new boat last December.


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