City of Beloit to be honored with naming of US Naval Warship

USS Beloit engine.jpg

BELOIT, Wis. - For Rhett Merriman, having a U.S. Naval ship named after his town was a lifelong dream. Merriman's dream came to a burning point, however, when he was attending the christening of another naval ship.

Merriman, a manager of marine engine sales for Fairbanks Morse, had a feeling it could have been his city seeing the honor.

"As I'm sitting at one of these christening events watching a ship be christened with the name of another city, I'm asking myself, 'Why not Beloit?'"

That was 10 years ago, and since, Merriman has made it his mission to make that happen, eventually lobbying with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin to see the USS Beloit come to fruition.

On Tuesday, that's exactly what happened, as leaders from Fairbanks Morse revealed the soon to be built LCS 29 would be named the USS Beloit.

For Merriman, it's a career goal finally accomplished.

"It's probably the pinnacle of my 40-year career," he said.

The ship will be assembled at Marinette Marine Shipyard in northern Wisconsin, and will be the 29th of its kind.