WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2014 —
The Navy will commission its newest attack submarine North Dakota, during a ceremony Oct. 25, 2014, at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, defense officials announced today.
North Dakota, designated SSN 784, honors the state's citizens and veterans and their strong military support and heritage from the Frontier Wars through the Cold War and currently the Global War on Terrorism, officials said. Seventeen North Dakotans have received the Medal of Honor for actions in combat.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Katie Fowler, wife of retired Vice Adm. Jeff Fowler, is serving as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
"USS North Dakota and her crew represent the finest we have to offer in our Navy's undersea force," Greenert said. "They will continue a legacy of heroism and rich tradition since the earliest days of our submarine program.”
“This fine crew will benefit from the steadfast dedication and commitment of its sponsor, Katie Fowler; she has devoted herself to the service life of this fine ship," the admiral said.
North Dakota will be the 11th Virginia-class submarine and is the second ship named in honor of the state,.
Next-generation attack submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.
North Dakota has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; special operations forces delivery and support; mine delivery; and minefield mapping.
Virginia-class submarines are 7,800 tons and 377 feet in length, are 34 feet across at their widest point, and can operate at more than 25 knots while submerged. They are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
To view the ceremony via live webcast, please go to: http://www.navy.mil.