USS Detroit first US warship to make inaugural port visit in Canada

U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7) traveled across the Detroit River and made her inaugural port call in the city of Windsor, Canada on October 24.

The port visit is historic in that it marks the first time a United States warship has chosen a Canadian city to host its first port visit.

During a welcoming ceremony hosted by the City of Windsor, Detroit’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Michael P. Desmond, expressed how honored he and crew were to have Windsor as their first port call.

“This is a historic day,” said Desmond. “It’s a continuation of a fantastic international relationship. I’ve never pulled into a Canadian port on board any of the ships in which I have served and very few of my shipmates had either, so this is a historic day for us personally as well as for our countries, for our navies, and for the cities.”

Royal Canadian Navy Cmdr. Dan Manu-Popa served as master of ceremonies for more than 300 guests, which included members of the RCN as well as the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment and World War II veterans. A ceremonial drum performance kicked off the event, followed by the singing of both countries’ national anthems by Canadian singer Erin Armstrong.

Though unable to attend, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens commemorated the event by writing a personal message to the ship’s crew.

“The City of Windsor is honored to welcome the USS Detroit to Canada,” wrote Dilkens. “I am very proud of the many ways the City of Windsor partners with the city of Detroit to showcase our unique ‘two-nation destination’ to residents and visitors in each of our communities. This visit from the USS Detroit, and similar events, are shining examples of how lucky we are to be neighbors, and of what is possible when we join forces. We look forward to hosting the USS Detroit and her crew for this truly historic visit.”

According to the U.S. Navy, Detroit will also stop in Montreal before completing the ship’s maiden voyage to its new homeport in Mayport, Florida.

The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship joined the U.S. Navy fleet four days ago during an October 22 ceremony in Detroit.