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City salutes USS Omaha at Turner Park

Posted: 11:03 PM, Sep 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-17 04:03:43Z

The USS Omaha is one of the newest and most advanced combat ships in the Navy's fleet. Sunday night, crew members gathered with Omahans and Miss USA to salute the ship. She was honored with the largest fireworks display ever at Turner Park.

Six members of the 60-man crew took in the city this weekend, capping off their trip with a celebration.

Leutenant Jake Ostrom has lived all over the country and is now stationed with the ship in San Diego. He is in charge of maintaining the water-jet engines, which propel the ship, a huge upgrade over a tradional propeller.

A second generation sailor, Ostrom is visiting Omaha and meeting Miss USA for the first time.

"In my short time in the Navy, I've never been somewhere where a group of people have been so welcoming and patriotic," Ltjd. Ostrom said.

Crowds at the park enjoyed hours of celebration, including music from the UNA Maverick Marching Band, along with the largest fireworks display ever seen at the park.

"We wanted to listen to the music that the UNA band is having," Beth Patterson said. "And of course, Billy McGuigan is awesome."

The latest USS Omaha is the fifth ship to bare the name. It's also the most advanced. The 418 ft. ship will handle reconnaissance and counter-piracy missions in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Ltjd. Ostrom says Omahans should be proud of not only how advanced the ship is, but how it will serve our country.

"It's built for what we call high speed-low drag," Ltjd. Ostrom said. "She can navigate to much more shallow waters than your typical legacy navy ship, so we do a lot of patrols and those types of missions." 

Susie Buffett is the ship's sponsor. She will be taking part in milestone ceremonies, like the commissioning, and be a permanent member of the crew.