The Navy’s newest Virginia-class attack submarine Minnesota will be commissioned Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at the Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Ellen Roughead, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and a Minnesota native, will serve as ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition she will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Minnesota, the 10th ship of the Virginia class is named in honor of the state's citizens and their continued support to our nation's military. Minnesota has a long tradition of honoring its veterans of wars past and present. The state is proud to be home to 46 Medal of Honor recipients that span from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.
"Minnesota and the success of our Virginia-class submarine program prove that acquisition excellence is a key element of building the future fleet," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "The work of the more than a thousand shipyard craftsmen and engineers who built this boat have helped make the Fleet stronger and our nation safer. Their dedication and expertise led to the delivery of the world's most advanced submarine almost a year ahead of schedule and on budget."
This will be the third ship to bear the state name. The first USS Minnesota, a sailing steam frigate, was commissioned in 1857 and served during the Civil War, remaining in service until her decommissioning in 1898. The second Minnesota was commissioned in 1907. On Dec. 16, 1907 she departed Hampton Roads as one of the 16 battleships of the Great White Fleet sent by then-President Theodore Roosevelt on a voyage around the world. She continued her service through World War I and was decommissioned in 1921.
Minnesota will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. She will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable her to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.
Designated SSN 783, Minnesota is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Capable of operating in both the world's shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Minnesota will directly enable five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
The 7,800-ton Minnesota is built under a teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries. A crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel will operate the 377-feet long, 34-foot beam vessel, which will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Minnesota is designed with a nuclear reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship - reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
The ceremony will be carried live online with an interactive chat beginning at 10 a.m. EDT on the Navy Live Blog at http://navylive.dodlive.mil. Media may also use Defense Media Activity live coverage of the event carried by the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS).
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. For more information visit: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4