Sept. 26 (UPI) — The USS Delbert Black was commissioned at Port Canaveral in Florida on Saturday.
The ceremony was private, with a small number of in-person guests and speakers, due to COVID-19. But it was livestreamed, with some Navy and political leaders delivering remarks remotely.
Those attending in person included Ima Black, widow of Delbert Black, the Navy’s first Master Chief Petty Officer and the ship’s namesake, and James Geurts, the Navy’s assistant secretary of research, development and acquisition.
Speakers praised the ship’s namesake, who oversaw the creation of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy during the Vietnam War and guided the branch through that era.
Russel L. Smith, the Navy’s current MCPON, was the principal speaker, and several of Black’s successors delivered remarks virtually via video chat.
“Every sailor should know and appreciate the role MCPON Black played in elevating the role of and the