USS Columbia Commander and Chief Visit Namesake City

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COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia is the namesake for the USS Columbia, a submarine stationed in the U.S. Navy in Pearl Harbor. Commander Patrick Friedman and Chief of the Boat Jack Fetterley are visiting Columbia for the week to see the city and work with the University of Missouri's Naval ROTC.

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"These visits from the fleet, all the way from Pearl Harbor, and the captain and the chief of the boat, are our connections for the students at the naval ROTC at Mizzou, to the fleet," Captain Michael Vizcarra, a professor of naval science at the University of Missouri said.

"Many of our future submarine officers, they haven't been selected, they haven't decided yet what they want to do for the Navy," Vizcarra said. "They will be able to talk to the captain of the ship and the chief, and they will be able to learn more about what life is like in charge of a submarine."

Mayor Bob McDavid held a reception at Bleu Restaurant Monday afternoon, where members of the community could come and meet the two naval officers.  The officers presented the mayor with pictures of the submarine, as well as a plaque to honor the city of Columbia.

"Our purpose behind coming back to Columbia is to strengthen the ties with our namesake cities," Commanding officer Patrick Friedman said.  "The CoMo committee has been very active with the Columbia over the past twenty years since our commissioning."

"We come back to meet some of those folks, and bring them pictures of things on the ship, to show them the real connection they have to my sailors," Friedman said.

The mayor and the two naval officers cut a ribbon at the reception, symbolizing the beginning of their namesake city visit.

Commander Friedman and Chief Fetterly will be in Columbia through March 12th.