SIOUX CITY — The USS Sioux City was decommissioned by the Navy during a ceremony Monday at a naval base in Florida.
Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott recalls one of his most memorable days in office, the commissioning ceremony of the littoral combat ship in November of 2018. Scott estimates around $1.5 million was spent on the celebration and scholarship program for the crew, with a large portion coming from Sioux City and surrounding areas.
He says he thinks it’s a joke. “Mobilized our community, we went out and raised a lot of money,” he says. Scott says not only did the Navy waste $350 million on a ship quickly pulled out of service, they won’t disclose why his community was allowed to invest monetarily and emotionally in the USS Sioux City. “There were all kinds of Sioux City citizens there, because the community got behind that and did a great job of showing the Navy how proud we were to have a ship named after us. And then this is what the Navy does to us in return,” Scott says.
Scott says the Navy fleeced not only his community but all taxpayers. “This is unacceptable to spend 350 million dollars on a ship,” Scott says, “continue to roll them out knowing that they’re supposedly a problem and wasting taxpayers’ money. But not only that, selling that community on 30 years’ worth of commitment to that ship.” Scott says the Navy has yet to respond to his concerns. A Navy spokesperson says no one was available for comment.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and said last month that the Navy knew this was going to happen as they did not want to build the ships. Ernst said the ships cost $50 million a year to maintain, and some of the 13 ships in the class have developed cracks in their hulls, so no one wants them.