The City of Billings, Montana, has a warship named after it call the USS Billings. The Navy commissioned this ship into service in August 2019, and then Commander Gerring was the Executive Officer of the ship.
This Friday December 10, 2021, Billings City officials will attend a change of command on board the USS Billings LCS-15, which is the only current active warship ever named with a Montana City.
On this day, it is Navy tradition that whenever a skipper transfers the helm of a ship to a new captain.
The commander Aaron Helgerson, will transfer command to Commander Jeffery Gerring. Commander Helgerson has been the Commander of the USS Billings LCS-15 for the last four years, first serving as the Executive Officer of the Blue Crew, then becoming the Commanding Officer.
Commander Helgerson spent his younger years in Freeman South Dakota, and his sister, Rena Woljet, married director of the Billings Public Library, Gavin Woljer.
According to the Navy, they commissioned the USS Billings in Key West, Florida on August 2-19. The ship is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship and measures 378 feet and will cruise the seas at over 40 knots. The Ship has a shallow draft which allows the ship to operate in shallow water and close to any shore.