Author Archives: bobwefald

FINAL CLEARANCE ON USSND MERCHANDISE – EVENTS DVD

Scheels in Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck has generously agreed to sell all of our remaining USS North Dakota Committee merchandise at clearance prices.  This includes T-shirts, ship’s crest patches, and crest shaped coins with the boat’s crest on the front and a North Dakota image on the reverse.  These items will make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.  The display of this close out merchandise is just south of the registers on the entrance to Scheels inside Kirkwood Mall.

Edited DVDs of three events sponsored by our USS North Dakota Committee are available at Feist Electronics, 225 West Broadway Avenue, Bismarck ND 58501.  Each set of DVDs costs $19.99.  The first DVD is of the Chairman’s Dinner on Saturday, October 24, 2014, and includes the remarks of President Teddy Roosevelt as portrayed by Joe Wiegand who entertains in Medora during the summer as well as songs by the Elks Chorus and all of the various presentations.  The second DVD is of the very short program for the North Dakota Contingent Party on Saturday afternoon, October 25, 2014, and the Ship’s Party program on the evening of Saturday, October 25, 2014.  Also on this DVD is a program of pre-commissioning photos.  You can call Feist Electronics at 701-258-0065 or send an email to feistelectronics@midconetwork.com.

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COMMISSIONING CEREMONY PHOTOS

These photos were taken by Chief Petty Officer Sabrina Parker of Vice Admiral Connor’s staff.  They are used by permission of the US Navy.

The Navy band played before the ceremony.

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Part of the crowd of more than 2,000 on the pier.

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More of the crowd on this great fall day.

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Admiral Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, was the main speaker.

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Captain Doug Gordon takes command of his boat!

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At the command of Katie Fowler to “Man our ship!” the crew ran on board.

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The boat is manned!

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Officers salute on the gangway.

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The commissioning pennant was unfurled.

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Paul Stanton of the Commissioning Support Team coordinated the entire ceremony.

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PHOTOS FROM THE SHIP’S PARTY

Our USS North Dakota Committee was pleased to host a party for the crew and their families and friends on Saturday evening at the Foxwood Hotel and Casino.  The Fargo VFW Post No. 762 Color Guard started the evening off with the presentation of colors.

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The Bismarck Mandan Elks Chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner as the USSND Chairman looked on.

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The boat’s Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Mike Siedsma re-enlisted two members of the crew.

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Rear Admiral Stuart Munsch of Oakes, North Dakota, and Commander of the boats deployed to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, gave remarks for the crew and their families.

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Representatives of American Legion Post No. 290 of New Town, North Dakota, presented the boat with crossed six shooters.

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The crew posed for a group photos with the New Town Legionnaires.

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Christine Gordon enjoys a moment with her husband Captain Doug Gordon.

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PHOTOS FROM THE NORTH DAKOTA CONTINGENT PARTY

Our USS North Dakota hosted a party on Saturday afternoon after the commissioning ceremony at the Mystic Marriott Hotel for all North Dakotans.

The Bismarck Mandan Elks Chorus sang two sets of three songs each at the Saturday afternoon North Dakota Contingent Party.

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Captain Gordon finally got a chance to enjoy lunch.

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Senator John Hoeven, Will Swearson and Senator Ray Holmberg.

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Our Groton area USSND Committee member Carol Schwenk was recognized for all of her work as our local point of contact and shipment address.

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Senator John Hoeven greets all the North Dakotans and members of the crew and the spouses.

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Governor Dalrymple called everyone to assemble for a group photo to memorialize this great commissioning of our 2nd US Navy warship named for our state.

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Bismarck Mandan Chamber of Commerce President and our USSND Treasurer thanks everyone for all of their support and for making this commissioning so great for us all.

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Captain Doug Gordon and Ship’s Sponsor Katie Fowler flank World War II submarine sailor George Hayden.

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PHOTOS FROM THE CHAIRMAN’S DINNER – END OF THE EVENING

Plaques were presented to major donors, and the two main donors were the North Dakota Senate and the North Dakota House of Representatives well represented by Senator Ray Holmberg and Representative Kathy Hawken.

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Fargo VFW Post No. 762 retired the colors.

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Teddy Roosevelt and Becky Pugh with the painting she did for Katie Fowler to give to the boat.

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The brow to the boat at the next day’s commissioning ceremony nicely displaying the boat’s name and crest.

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After the ceremony tours of the boat were available and to my knowledge everyone who wanted a tour got one.

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PHOTOS FROM THE CHAIRMAN’S DINNER – NORTH DAKOTA GIFTS

Gordon Blake of new Town, North Dakota, presented a Butch Thunderhawk sculpture to the boat as a gift from the tribes of North Dakota – the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Three Affiliated Tribes of Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara, the Turtle Mountains Bands of Chippewa and Cree, and the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe.

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Ship’s Sponsor Katie Fowler presented to the boat a painting of the Painted canyon in the North Dakota Badlands which she commissioned her friend Becky Pugh to paint.

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Vice Chairman Bill Butcher holds the sterling silver bowl.

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L to R Representative Kevin Cramer, Governor Jack Dalrymple, Bill Butcher, Captain Doug Gordon, Bob Wefald, Kelvin Hulett present to bowl to the boat.

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The bowl designed to be a smaller replica of the enormous punch bowl given to the first USS North Dakota.

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Bill Butcher gives a package of lefse to Tim Preabt, the Chief of the Boat.

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Captain Gordon gave Katie Fowler a crystal bowl with the boat’s crest.

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Captain Gordon extended his thanks to all who presented gifts, to all who attended the commissioning events, and to the USS North Dakota Committee and to the people of North Dakota.

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PHOTOS FROM THE CHAIRMAN’S DINNER – PRESENTATION OF GIFTS

Several contractors made presentations to Captain Gordon and an Admiral gave a gift to the Ship’s Sponsor.

General Dynamics Electric Boat Vice President Kurt Hesche, Virginia Class Program Manager, presented the “back up” bottle that was standing by at the christening.

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Newport News Shipbuilding/Huntington Ingalls Industries Vice President Jim Hughes, Submarine and Fleet Support, presented an entertainment system to the boat.

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Former Fargo, North Dakota resident, Rear Admiral Mike Moe (Ret), Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Raytheon, presented a plaque on which the names of all of the Commanding Officers for 33 years will be listed.  Vice Chairman Bill Butcher helped handle all of the gifts.

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Fleece jackets were presented to all of the boat’s “plank owners” by Tom Digan, Lockheed Martin Program Manager.

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Captain Gordon displays his fleece “plank owners” jacket.

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Gary Huff, Northrup Grumman Marine Systems, Director of Propulsion and Generation, presented a plaque with several turbine blades.

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North Dakota native Commander Bob Maixner of BAE Systems presented a $1,500 check for the boat’s Morale Welfare and recreation fund.

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President of the Navy League of the United States Jim Offutt presented a tray to Captain Gordon.

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Vice Admiral Mike Connor presented Ship’s Sponsor a gift from the Navy

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Katie Fowler was delighted to receive this gift.

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