Littoral Combat Ship, USS Little Rock, Makes History with Troopster Support
On December 16th, 2017, the US Navy’s newest vessel, the littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Little Rock was formally commissioned in Buffalo, NY. Troopster, a veteran-owned business that lets friends and families of deployed service members buy military care packs and personalize them with notes and photos from home on its website, served as an official sponsor for the event. As a sponsor, Troopster helped underwrite the costs of a week’s worth of commissioning festivities.
Upon its commissioning, a ship formally enters US Naval service. For the USS Little Rock, this momentous occasion had even more significance, as this would be the first time in US Navy history that a ship would be commissioned next to its namesake.
The Original USS Little Rock
Decades before America’s littoral combat ships existed, the original USS Little Rock served as a light cruiser at the end of World War II. In 1960, that ship transitioned to a guided missile cruiser, and, in 1976, the trusty vessel finally decommissioned. Out of the active service, crew from the USS Little Rock partnered with the Buffalo community to convert the ship into a museum in the city’s harbor.
The Troopster - USS Little Rock Connection
Despite competing with numerous other cities for the privilege of hosting the USS Little Rock Commissioning, Buffalo prevailed, largely due to the efforts of the USS Little Rock Association and the USS Little Rock Commissioning Committee, led by Commissioning Chairman Maurice L. Naylon III.
Chairman Naylon’s son, Maurice L. Naylon IV (“Chipp”), an infantry officer in the Marine Corps and Chief Outreach Officer for Troopster, saw the commissioning as an outstanding opportunity to support active duty Sailors. As such, he and Troopster founder Chelsea Mandello decided to sign Troopster up as an official sponsor.
USS Little Rock Commissioning Week
Even Buffalo’s December chill and snow couldn’t derail an outstanding week of events leading up to the USS Little Rock Commissioning. From the ship’s Sailors attending an epic Bills game in a blizzard to visiting patients at local hospitals, the week couldn’t have been a greater success. To properly do justice to how outstanding the commissioning was, please take a look at Chairman Naylon’s thank you letter to the city of Buffalo.
For Troopster, one of the highlights of the commissioning week occurred “inside the skin” of the USS Little Rock, where Chelsea Mandello took part in an enlistment ceremony, with Buffalo natives swearing their oaths of enlistment into the US Navy aboard the littoral combat ship. What a cool way to enter the world’s greatest Navy!
Continued Support of USS Little Rock: Operation “Ice Breaker”
Unfortunately, the cold finally caught up to the USS Little Rock in Montreal, as the St. Lawrence River froze during the ship’s transit out to the Atlantic Ocean and homeport in Mayport, Florida. Unable to break through the thick Canadian ice, the littoral combat ship and her crew settled in for an extended stay in Montreal’s harbor (there are certainly worse ways places to spend a winter in the Navy!).
Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, a local Buffalo charity and the first official sponsor of the USS Little Rock Commissioning Committee, decided it needed to do something to show support for the ship’s crew. Enter Operation “Ice Breaker.” With an extremely generous purchase, Buffalo Renaissance Foundation used Troopster's services to send personalized care packages to every member of USS Little Rock’s ice-bound crew up in Montreal!
Friends and Family of USS Little Rock Crew
Would you like to send a care pack to your loved one serving aboard the USS Little Rock? Buy and mail to any US Navy ship or military post with just a few clicks. At Troopster, our goal is to make the care package process, from purchase to delivery overseas, as easy as possible for Americans with loved ones in the military. Check out Troopster's great list of care packages below:
- Army Care Packages
- Navy Care Packages
- Air Force Care Packages
- Marine Care Packages
- Healthy Care Packages
- Boyfriend Care Packages
Like Troopster's USS Little Rock Support? Request Free Care Packs!
As veterans, we know that not every service member has loved ones back Stateside who are able to send care packs. With that said, we formed a 501(c)(3)-registered military charity, Troopster, to fill the gap. This great military charity uses donated funds from generous American individuals and businesses to send care packs to deployed troops who, lacking support from home, request free packs directly from our website.
Charitable Support to Deployed Service Members
If you’d like to support the Troopster mission of sending care packages to deployed service members, we have a few options for tax-deductible donations. For a more personal touch, you can adopt a troop by purchasing a donation care pack. These packs are then sent overseas to a long (and ever-expanding!) list of service members who have requested free packs from Troopster. For a simpler approach, you may make a monetary contribution to our charity. 100 percent of these funds are used to purchase and ship care packs, as all administrative overhead is paid for by our for-profit business, Troopster. We want to ensure that your donations go where they should: to supporting deployed troops!