June 11, 2014 - An iconic symbol of Detroit will become part of a new United States Navy ship bearing the city's name and it's all thanks to an Oxford company.
CAM Logic owner
Jim Carlisle (right) presents U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Wohnhaas with a model of the Spirit of Detroit. (click for larger version)
CAM Logic will use state-of-the-art 3-D printing technology to create a model of the famous Spirit of Detroit statue for display aboard the USS Detroit (LCS-7), currently being constructed by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin.
"I think it's exciting," said Jim Carlisle, owner and president of CAM Logic, headquartered at 38 S. Washington St. in downtown Oxford. "It will be a permanent part of history."
On Monday, Carlisle presented a miniature replica of the Spirit of Detroit, created by his company, to Naval Commander Mike Wohnhaas, who will serve as the USS Detroit's first commanding officer, at the RAPID Conference being held at Cobo Center June 9-12.
The USS Detroit will be a Freedom class littoral combat ship, a relatively small surface vessel intended for operations close to shore. It's 378.3 feet long and will have a 13-foot draft. It's top speed will be 45 knots or 52 miles per hour.
This will be the sixth ship named after Detroit. The first one, a 12-gun ship, served in the War of 1812. The last was a combat support replenishment ship that was decommissioned in 2005 after 35 years of service.
The new USS Detroit will be commissioned in spring 2016. Although no official decision's been made by navy, it's expected the ceremony will take place at the Port of Detroit, adjacent to the Renaissance Center, on the Detroit River.
"The Detroit will be homeported in San Diego, so once she leaves the (Great) Lakes, I don't think she'll ever come back. She'll be forward-deployed over in Singapore," explained retired U.S. Navy Capt. John G. McCandless, chairman of the USS Detroit Blue and Gold Committee for the Metropolitan Detroit Council of the Navy League of the United States.
It was McCandless, who served in the navy for 32 years, who contacted CAM Logic and got this whole thing started.
CAM Logic recently garnered a ton of media attention over its May 8 scanning of the Spirit of Detroit statue.
The company used four different styles of laser-based 3-D scanning technology to capture all of the 26-foot-tall bronze statue's physical dimensions in order to create a digital model for 3-D printing.
CAM Logic then printed miniature models to give away at the RAPID show.
All that press coverage brought the Oxford company to McCandless' attention.
He contacted Carlisle about presenting Wohnhaas with one of the miniature statues.
"I thought it would be kind of a neat gesture," McCandless said.
McCandless said Carlisle did him one better and offered to create a larger version for permanent display board the new ship.
"This is will be a unique (memento) from the people of the City of Detroit and especially this company," he said. "The Spirit of Detroit is very iconic. It's been there for years, going back to the 1950s. I just think it will be a special thing for the crew."
"I just thought it would be a gesture of goodwill and an opportunity to leverage what we did," Carlisle said.
The model's size and material have yet to be determined.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.