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Ribble Delivers letters to Secretary of The Navy
Photo courtesy of Ashley Olson, Communications Director, U. S. Rep. Reid Ribble

Letters Delivered to Secretary of the Navy by U.S. Representative Reid Ribble   
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

April 5, 2012 - More than 3,700 signed letters asking the Secretary of the Navy to name a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Marinette have been delivered to the Pentagon.

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble dropped off eight boxes containing the letters last week. A Ribble staffer said Navy officials were impressed. Ribble launched the naming effort during a visit to Marinette last year.

Local business and community leaders, along with local and state political figures formed a committee to start a letter signing campaign. The letter asks Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, to make Marinette the namesake for one of the Littoral Combat Ships the Navy has contracted with Lockheed Martin to build at Marinette Marine Corp. The Navy secretary traditionally selects the names of vessels.  Three cities have already been selected to have Littoral Combat Ships bear their names including Fort Worth, TX, which conducted a similar ship naming campaign. Other Littoral Combat Ships will be named Milwaukee and Detroit.

Naming committee officials say naming a LCS USS Marinette would recognize the craftsmen at Marinette Marine who work hard to deliver quality ships to the Navy. It would also be a source of pride for the community.

The letter signing campaign involved union workers and management at Marinette Marine, people throughout the community and school children. In addition to the 3,700 plus signed letters that Ribble delivered to the Navy at the Pentagon, another 1,000 letter were mailed to the Navy secretary earlier this year. Members of the naming committee believe there is an excellent chance the Navy secretary will choose to name an LCS USS Marinette because of the widespread community support.


USS Marinette Letter Campaign
U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble (left) and Farmers & merchants Bank & Trust President Tom Maxwell (right)
stand with with boxes containing more than 3,700 letters asking the Secretary of the Navy to name
a Littoral combat Ship USS Marinette. Picture by Donn Williams - Director of Marketing - F&MB&T

Navy Asked To Name Littoral Combat Ship USS Marinette   
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

February 28, 2012 - More than 3,700 signed letters are on their way to the Pentagon asking the Secretary of the Navy to name a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) built by Marinette Marine Corp. USS Marinette.

The letters were presented to U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble Friday at Marinette City Hall. The event was attended by members of the local committee to name a Littoral Combat Ship USS Marinette and management and union leaders from Marinette Marine Corp.

“Shortly after the christening ceremony for the USS Fort Worth in December 2010 an idea began that we should start a campaign to have an LCS Named the USS Marinette,” committee member Tom Maxwell, president of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust told the gathering. “The Navy has a practice of naming LCS vessels after American mid-sized cities, small towns and communities.” Ribble launched the naming effort during a speech in Marinette last year. Local business and community leaders, along with local and state political figures then formed a committee to begin a letter writing campaign to ask Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, to make Marinette the namesake for one of these ships.

The purpose is to show the pride people in the community have in the local shipbuilder. “The Navy selected Marinette Marine to build these ships because of the high quality workmanship and work ethic of Marinette Marine’s employees,” Maxwell said. “The employees and all the people residing in this area are proud of Marinette Marine and supportive of the veterans and active duty military personnel.”

Letters were made available in local businesses, schools and at Marinette Marine for people to sign. Late last year 1,000 signed letters were mailed to the Navy Secretary. Now Rep. Ribble will deliver another 3,778 letters to the secretary.

“I’m very pleased to personally take these letters over to the secretary at the Pentagon, deliver them myself, and make one last pitch for the Littoral Combat Ship to be named the USS Marinette,” said Ribble. “To the workers - you guys have earned this. You’re building the finest vessels in the world.”

The Secretary of the Navy traditionally selects the names of Navy vessels.

In addition to USS Fort Worth, other city names already selected for LCSs include USS Milwaukee and USS Detroit. Recently the Navy announced one vessel would be named the USS Gabrielle Giffords in honor of the Tucson, AZ congresswoman who is recovering from a gunshot wound.

“We think we have an excellent chance to be successful because of the widespread community support and the fact that a previous Navy tug, built by Marinette Marine was named Marinette."



Tugboat Marinette 2          Tugboat Marinette
Photos courtesy of www.navsource.org/archives/14/09791.htm  &  www.navysite.mil  

A Tugboat Named Marinette   
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

January 18, 2012 - If the Secretary of the Navy chooses to name a Littoral Combat Ship built by Marinette Marine Corp. the USS Marinette, it won’t be the first time a Navy vessel constructed by the local shipbuilder has born the name.

If the Secretary of the Navy chooses to name a Littoral Combat Ship built by Marinette Marine Corp. the USS Marinette, it won’t be the first time a Navy vessel constructed by the local shipbuilder has born the name.

A tug boat named Marinette was constructed by Marinette Marine Corp. for the Navy and launched on April 10, 1967. A sister tug named the Menominee was also built by the company and launched seven days earlier.
Both the original Marinette (YTB-791) and its sister Menominee (YTB-790) were Natick Class District Harbor Tugs. The keel of the Marinette was laid on Sept. 8, 1966 at Marinette Marine Corp. The 109 foot long tug was delivered to the Navy two months after its launch on June 10, 1967.

Both the Marinette and the Menominee were assigned to the 5th Navy District, which is headquartered at Norfolk, Va. There, both tugs served the Navy with crews of 12 sailors.

Jerry Steppke of Marinette had the good fortune of seeing the Marinette at work two decades ago. He and his brother Jim of Fort Atkinson, Wis., were invited aboard the famed battleship USS Wisconsin, along with 1,300 other dignitaries, for that vessel’s final voyage on June 14, 1991.

As the battleship was returning to Norfolk Naval Base, Steppke was surprised to see the name Marinette on the stern of a tug aiding the Wisconsin back into port.    “It was a thrill to see,” Steppke recalled. “We never expected the tug would be named Marinette, after the town we came from.  It was neat.”

The Marinette continued to be a Navy workhorse until she was taken out of service in 2005. In August 2006 the Marinette was sold to Savanah Marine Services Inc. Her fate following the sale is unknown.

Now a letter signing campaign is underway to have the name Marinette appear on the hull of one of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships built by Marinette Marine. The letters are addressed to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. More than 3,000 signed letters have been collected thus far.

“Since we started this effort we have been overwhelmed by the widespread support it has received,” said Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President Tom Maxwell. “Retirees, students, Marinette Marine employees and people from all walks of life have signed thousands of letters.” Maxwell is a member of the USS Marinette Committee, a group of area business people, educational leaders and elected officials who lead the ship naming effort that was started by U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble.

They say naming one of these fast moving war ships USS Marinette would honor the men and women who build them at Marinette Marine, and all the people who live and work in Marinette County. The form letters are available for signing at the following Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust locations: 1644 Ludington St. in downtown Marinette; 2811 Roosevelt Rd., near the mall, in Marinette; and 114 S. Highway 141 in Crivitz.  All members of the community, workers at local businesses and industries, and students in area schools all encouraged to sign letters.  The letters will be presented to Ribble when he visits Marinette on Feb. 24. He will then deliver them to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.