NEWS | July 21, 2015

Commanding Officer of ARDM-5 Arco visits Arco, Idaho

By Lt. Javan Rasnake, Navy Office of Community Outreach

ARCO, Idaho (NNS) -- Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Sims, commanding officer of the medium auxiliary repair dry dock (N-S-P) Arco (ARDM 5), completed a namesake visit to Arco, Idaho, this weekend, as part of the Atomic Days festivities.

Atomic Days is held every year to commemorate the fact that Arco, Idaho, was the first city in the world to be supplied with electricity from a nuclear reactor. 

Arco is a floating dry dock, capable of dry docking submarines and small ships for maintenance. Arco is a member of Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 11, based in Point Loma, California. The motto of CSS-11 is "Defensor Pacis," which means "Defender of Peace". 

"I am here in Arco for Atomic Days to meet the people of this great city, and to share with them the story of the dry dock that bears their name, and the mission of the Navy", Sims said, during the Atomic Days parade. "Support commands like Arco ensure that the Navy is ready to fight and win the nation's wars."

More than 4,000 people came out to see the parade, in which the lieutenant commander was a guest of honor. 

While in Arco for Atomic Days, Sims also toured the Idaho National Laboratory, which has a long history of innovation in nuclear technologies. He visited the Idaho Science Center, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7137, and spoke with the town council and mayor at the Business Incubation Center.

The Idaho Science Center holds one of the most recognizable landmarks in Arco: the sail of USS Hawkbill (SSN 666). The director of the facility, Dr. Clay Condit, is a retired physicist from the Idaho National Laboratory. When asked how Arco came to possess a submarine sail, Condit was eager to answer. 

"I wanted to memorialize Idaho's Naval history," the scientist said. "So I asked the Navy for a submarine sail. Sometimes you just have to ask!"

Sims' visit was part of the Navy's namesake relations program. As part of this program, officers and Sailors visit their namesake cities or states to share their mission and bring the Navy to those who support the military at home.