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    Story by Lt. Ayifa Brooks 

    Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron TWO

    By Ens. Meagan Quispe
    BILLINGS, MT (August 6, 2023) – Sailors assigned to the Freedom-Variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Billings (LCS 15) visited their ship’s namesake city August 6-14, 2023.
    During the visit, Commanding Officer Curtis Thomas II, Command Senior Chief Andrew Conover, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Troy Carter, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Daniel Kaufman, and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jelaine Hands represented USS Billings by attending and participating in local events and volunteer projects, visiting Boys and Girls clubs, meeting local citizens, and touring attractions in the Billings area.
    Highlighting the trip, the five Sailors attended a Mustangs baseball game at Dehler Park where the Commanding Officer threw out the first pitch.
    “It was an unforgettable memory shared with unforgettable people.” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Troy Carter, the Independent Duty Corpsman of USS Billings. “I am truly grateful to the great citizens of Billings for their unparalleled hospitality and support.”
    During the trip, the Sailors visited the Boys and Girls Club where they interacted with the local children of Billings doing both inside and outside activities such as reading and playing basketball.
    “Billings was an amazing experience and I had a fantastic time.” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jelaine Hands. “Thank you to Joy and James for opening their home to me on my first day, I could never forget that.”
    The Sailors were given personal tours, led by Mayor Bill Cole, of Yellowstone Kelly Monument, S Ranch, and the Billings Public Library. This was a very special experience because they were able to see the USS Billings monument that is located at the Billings Public Library.
    “It was an honor to represent the crew of USS Billings, and the people of Billings Montana could not have been more hospitable.” said Command Senior Chief Andrew Conover. “I am truly humbled and grateful to such a welcoming and inspirational community.”
    On the last two days, the Sailors went to Yellowstone International Airport where they were able to watch the Blue Angels perform alongside locals of Billings.
    “I am excited to bring my Sailors here to experience and learn first-hand the culture and for them to see the beautiful lands Billings, MT has to offer.” said Commanding Officer Curtis Thomas II. “Furthermore, we are grateful for the opportunity to continue strengthening our relationship between Billings and the ship.”
    USS Billings (LCS 15) commissioned on Aug. 3, 2019, and visiting the ship’s namesake city has become an experience that our Sailors look forward to.
    LCS class ships are designed to defeat growing threats in the coastal water space. They are lethal, adaptable, and mission focused. The U.S. Navy’s ability to operate anywhere at any time is essential. USS Billings, like other ships in her class, are designed from the keel up to affordably take on new capabilities including advanced sensors and missiles. LCS speed, strength, and versatility make it a critical tool to help Sailors achieve their missions.
    USS Billings (LCS 15) is homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., and is assigned to Mine Division Two Two.



    Date Taken: 08.18.2023
    Date Posted: 08.23.2023 10:45
    Story ID: 451968
    Location: BILLINGS, MT, US

    Web Views: 128
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