Listen Live

BURNS HARBOR, Ind. — The U.S. Navy commissioned its new USS Indianapolis combat vessel at a northwestern Indiana port on Saturday. 

It’s the fourth military vessel carrying the Indianapolis name. Rear Admiral Casey Moton touched on the legacy left behind by the second USS Indianapolis, which was sunk by a Japanese submarine during WWII, and how the new ship will carry on to honor that legacy.

“What unites these two warships, separated by different strategic eras, is the nature of their missions.” 

He said the ship is an incredible tribute to its WWII sister ship, and an important reminder to its crews and the crews to come.

The USS Indianapolis is designed for missions like mine-clearing and anti-submarine warfare.

Commander Colin Kane gave a preview of the ship Thursday at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor.  

“We have four tunnels underneath the ship that draw water up and shoot them out the back of the ship, so it’s very much like a jet ski. It’s extremely maneuverable,” Kane said. 

Kane says the ship will have a crew of around 70 people and is equipped for mine hunting operations.  He says it is equipped with the mine warfare mission package. 

“It has various surface vehicles, boats, as well as airborne systems for mine hunting and mine neutralization,” Kane said. 

Kane says he wanted to make sure the ship was commissioned as close to Indianapolis as possible. 

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. 

Now that the ship is active in the Navy’s fleet, the ship will go to Naval Station Mayport in Florida.  

The second USS Indianapolis was sunk in July 1945 while returning from a Pacific island where it delivered key components for the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Only 317 of its nearly 1,200 crewmen survived the sinking and days in shark-infested waters.