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Veterans tour USS Detroit as it docks downtown

Ship docked near Ren Cen in Detroit River

DETROIT – The USS Detroit opened its doors to the public Tuesday, including men and women who have served our country.

The ship is docked along the Detroit River downtown. Local 4's Guy Gordon was there to experience the ship through the veterans' eyes. You can watch his story in the video posted above.

Veterans didn't charge up the gangway like they used to, but being back aboard a ship put a spring in their step.

Bill Rands served aboard a destroyer the same size as the USS Detroit with a crew of 350 sailors. The Detroit carries a core complement of 58.

The Freedom class Littoral fighter can perform three types of missions: anti-submarine, surface warfare and anti-mine. It's a mix of old and new technology, digital control on the bridge and an old crank phone, just in case.

The ram missile battery can intercept up to 20 incoming missiles. The old-school 57mm gun can launch a shell 10 miles.

Jeff Heston said he served in the engine room of the last USS Detroit 25 years ago. The new combat ship doesn't have propellers. The giant jet ski reaches top speeds of 40 knots.

In the gallery, people serve themselves and bus their own dishes, with a nice Detroit touch. They have a case all ready to hold keepsakes, including a Red Wings towel that was seen Tuesday, from their namesake city. The skipper got another addition, courtesy of a generous veteran.

The ship will add 20-40 crew members, depending on the mission package they're carrying out. They have room for sub hunting helicopters and drones, and they can change mission packages in a week, making it a very fast and flexible ship.

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