Friday, June 27, 2014


We were pleased to welcome CDR Michael Wohnhaas, PCO, USS DETROIT (LCS 7), and his leadersip team back to Michigan on June 9 and 10.  Joining him for this visit was LCDR Christopher Farricker, Executive Officer and MACS Travis Winfield, Command Master Chief.  They were able to schedule the visit prior to heading to Marinette, Wis. to attend the quarterly Shipbuilding Production Progress Conference.  

We scheduled a full day of activity in Detroit on June 9 and in Lansing on June 10.  Mrs. Barbara Levin was able to join us on June 9 for a number of events.  John Percchio, Jerry Moskwa and I served as hosts for our visitors.

COMMAND TEAM VISIT (Left to right:) Jerry Moskwa, MACS Winfield,
John Peracchio, John McCandless, Barbara Levin, LCDR Farricker and CDR Wohnhaas.

We started June 9 with a breakfast at the Detroit Athletic Club with Nolan Finlay, Editorial Page Editor of THE DETROIT NEWS.  Later, CDR Wohnhaas did a 10 minute interview with WJR’s Frank Beckmann.  Next, Thom Connors, Regional VP and General Manager, Cobo Center, provided a special tour of the new Grand River Ballroom in Cobo Arena, which we plan to use for Commissioning Week events.  

While at Cobo, Jim Carlisle, CEO of Camlogic, presented the Commander with a miniature version of The Spirit of Detroit iconic sculpture.  Carlisle’s firm laser scanned the 26-foot bronze sculpture, then produced 3-D printed miniatures for the RAPID Conference taking place that week. 

We met with Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer, Quicken Loans and our Honorary Chairman of our USS DETROIT BLUE & GOLD COMMITTEE and Leslie Andrews, Director, Community Relations and Corporate Partnerships.  From there, we toured Port Detroit and concluded the day with a visit to Naval Recruiting District headquarters and a visit with members of the Navy Recruiting Assistance Committee.

On Tuesday, we spent the day in Lansing and East Lansing, starting with being introduced on the Senate Floor by State Senator Patrick Colbeck.  We visited the House, where CDR Wohnhaas was introduced and welcomed by State Representative Nancy Jenkins.  We also met with Jeff Barnes, Director, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and Lindell Holm, Director, Michigan Veterans Trust Fund.

CAPT Ken Beachler, USN (Ret), arranged for a special tours of the Michigan State University Skandalaris Football Center and practice fields, where we were warmly greeted by many of the coaches.  Hosted by Jeff Barnes of the MSU Sports Information Staff, we also toured the MSU Stadium press box.  Finally, our guests were provided a special backstage tour of Wharton Center, only hours before the opening of The Book of Mormans.

We expect to hear soon on the date of the launching and christening of USS DETROIT, tentatively slated for a Saturday this coming September or October.

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