TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — There was an important ceremony for the U.S. Navy ship docked in Port Tampa Bay Thursday morning.
The warship will be commissioned into active Navy service on Saturday but first, the USS Jack H. Lucas crew needed to appoint new leaders. Sailors now have 8 more to look up to.
They’re called ‘Chief Petty Officers.’ Davis Willis is one of them and he said he’s honored to assume this position.
“It takes a lot of dedication,” Willis said. “It takes a lot and a lot of experience and mostly I would like to say it takes a lot of pride in order to make it this far.”
His dream has been 14 years in the making. Willis’ grandmother came to watch it come to fruition.
“I was very very proud of him,” Willis’ grandmother Patty Hoover said. “I know his great-grandfather, if he was here he’d be proud of him because his great-grandfather was a Chief Posting Mate in WWII.”
Willis will oversee all the launching of missiles as Chief Fire Controlman.
“This ship has a lot of cool features,” Willis said. “But obviously, [the coolest feature] will be our new SPY-6 radar. That’s our coolest, most updated radar known to man right now.”
Willis said the radar has the ability to track and handle targets better than anything we’ve seen before.
Tours of the Jack H. Lucas end this week. Click here for the schedule.
Tours are based on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can find the warship at 3409 Causeway Blvd in Tampa.