The USNS Carson City naval vessel is set to be christened in Alabama on Jan. 16, 2016.
Originally it was thought the ship named after Nevada’s capital city would be christened in November, but it was pushed back until early next year and a date wasn’t set for certain until now.
Capt. Bob Wiley of Carson City will take command of the vessel when it is built, christened and launched, an assignment he put in for after serving 35 years as a Merchant Marine. He is a federal employee rather than a military serviceman and has commanded hospital ships during his career.
Wiley and his spouse have lived in Carson City more than two decades, and he is expected to assume command of the USNS Carson City next spring after the commissioning ceremony in Alabama,
The commissioning also is called a christening, and donations for the event are being sought by the Navy League of Carson City to fund events surrounding the Jan. 16 christening, which will be at the Austal USA Shipyard in Mobile, Ala. Such donations will go for a large embossed brass plaque, plank owner plaques and certificates, as well as christening-related events.
The ship is called a Joint High Speed Vessel, which Wiley some time ago characterized as “a box that goes 40 knots,” and this will be the second naval chip to bear the Carson City name. The first was the USS Carson City, a Tacoma class frigate that saw duty at the end of and after World War II.
The USNS Carson City is designated a JHSV 7 vessel and will likely be used for troop transport for transporting health care personnel to larger ships like the huge floating hospitals Wiley has been commanding during his career.
Mayor Robert Crowell, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam era, at a reception for Wiley after the captain was named to command the USNS Carson City indicated the combination of a Carson City resident in charge of a Carson City ship is a tribute for the community.
“It just doesn’t get any better than that,” he said.
Those interested in contributing are invited to contact the Navy League Carson City Council at PO Box 4404, Carson City, NV, 89702-4404.