Firm joins fundraising effort for USS Missouri
Firm joins fundraising effort for USS Missouri
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Firm joins fundraising effort for USS Missouri
08/24/2009 2 minute read

Newest nuclear submarine built at facility engineered and built by Burns & McDonnell.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As part of a long and proud association with the U.S. Navy, Burns & McDonnell announced that it has joined a yearlong effort to raise funds to defray costs of commissioning ceremonies for the USS Missouri, the seventh Virginia-class attack submarine to be built at the General Dynamics' Electric Boat facilities in Groton, Conn. The USS Missouri is one of 30 Virginia-class submarines that are being built to replace the Los Angeles-class submarines built in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Missouri will be christened in December 2009 and then undergo a series of tests by the Navy early next year. The formal commissioning ceremony is expected to be held in mid-August 2010. The funds currently being raised will offset the expenses of the commissioning ceremonies, which by law must be paid for from non-governmental sources.

Burns & McDonnell has contributed $5,000 in cash and pledged an additional $5,000 in in-kind contributions to support ongoing fundraising efforts by the USS Missouri SSN-780 Commissioning Committee. U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri's 4th Congressional District and U.S. Sens. Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill of Missouri are honorary chairs of the fundraising committee.

Burns & McDonnell was worked with General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division in Groton, Conn., on numerous projects related to the Navy's submarine fleet. Under its current contract with Electric Boat, Burns & McDonnell designed and built two 300-foot steel and concrete construction platforms that have enabled a more efficient assembly and construction of the Virginia-class submarines. Efficiencies created by the platforms dramatically sped up production of the USS Missouri due to greater ease of access by tradesmen who no longer had to navigate around a maze of utilities, cables, equipment and materials needed in the construction process. As a result, the USS Missouri was completed 12 months ahead of its original production schedule at a cost savings of approximately $80 million.

"Navy vessels with the name ‘Missouri' have a legacy of distinguished service throughout our country's history, so we are extremely proud to have played a role in working with Electric Boat to launch the new USS Missouri," said Greg Graves, chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell. "We hope other Missouri businesses and individuals will join us in raising at least $500,000 to make sure the commander and crew of the USS Missouri know that we are proud of them, their service and the incredible vessel they will serve on."

"We knew that the Virginia-class submarines would be outfitted with the most sophisticated technology ever deployed by any Navy in the world, so we knew that we had to really step up and provide construction platforms that would enhance the sophisticated fabrication and assembly processes that Electric Boat called for in its design," said Jerry Shirley, Burns & McDonnell project manager.

The platforms more than doubled the amount of work space available by permanently housing utilities and equipment on the upper deck. This enabled better planned and organized utility routing to the submarine. A walkway on the lower level, served by an elevator, separated foot traffic from utilities and gave crews access to movable gangways for top-side access to the submarine.

The USS Missouri is the fifth U.S. military vessel named for the 24th state. The first USS Missouri was a side-wheel frigate launched in 1841; it sunk two years later in an accident off the Strait of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean. The second USS Missouri was a side-wheel steamer that was originally built as a Confederate ironclad and later disassembled shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War. The third USS Missouri was a Maine-class battleship launched in December 1901 and commissioned into the Navy in December 1903. This USS Missouri served as a training ship during World War I and was decommissioned in 1919.

The fourth, and perhaps best known USS Missouri, was the last battleship completed by the U.S. when it was launched in 1944. This USS Missouri served in the Pacific Theater during World War II and was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet on Aug. 14, 1945 when Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies on board the ship. The "Mighty Mo" continued its distinguished service in the Korean conflict when it was the first battleship to reach Korean waters, where it conducted several bombardment operations. The "Mighty Mo" was decommissioned in 1955 but served in the reserve fleet until it was recommissioned in 1986. The battleship carried out several operations in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and was finally decommissioned in 1993. In 1998, the old battleship was transferred to Pearl Harbor, where it rests near the USS Arizona Memorial, and is open for public tours.

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