The Navy’s newest attack submarine, Missouri, will be commissioned Saturday, July 31, 2010, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony in Groton, Conn. Missouri is named to honor the people of the “Show Me State” and its leaders for their continuous support of the military.
Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead will also deliver remarks. Becky Gates, wife of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, will serve as the ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition she will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Designated SSN 780, the seventh Virginia class submarine, Missouri is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; battle group support; and mine warfare missions. Upon entering service, Missouri will directly enable five of the six Navy Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
This is the fourth Navy ship to be named Missouri. The last USS Missouri, a legendary battleship, saw action in World War II, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, and was also the site where Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and many other U.S. and allied officers accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II.
Cmdr. Timothy Rexrode of Spencer, W.Va., is the ship’s commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel. The 7,800-ton Missouri was built under a unique teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. The boat is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Missouri is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing operational availability.
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. Information about Missouri and high-resolution photos are available online at http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/CSG2/Pages/PCUMissouri(SSN780).aspx. Additional information about Virginia class submarines is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4.