United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Release

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

News Release


Release No: 544-95
October 05, 1995



The Navy will commission its newest attack submarine, Columbia (SSN 771), in a ceremony at 11 a.m., Monday, October 9, 1995 (Columbus Day), at Submarine Base New London, Groton, Connecticut.

The principal speaker at the ceremony will be Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton. Also attending will be Representative Sam Gedjensen.

Other distinguished guests at the ceremony will be Mayors Robert Coble, Columbia, South Carolina; Lester Schneider, Columbia, Illinois; and Darwin Hindman, Columbia, Missouri; as Columbia (SSN 771) honors the capital of South Carolina, and these cities in Illinois and Missouri. The First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is Columbia's sponsor, having christened the submarine during ceremonies on September 24, 1994.

Six former Navy ships have borne this name. Their service extends from 1836 to 1984, the most famous being the Light Cruiser Columbia (CL 56) which earned a Presidential Unit Citation and 10 battle stars in World War II.

Attack submarines are a vital part of the Navy's "Forward...From the Sea" doctrine, bringing to bear proven shallow water operational capabilities including mine warfare; covert coastal surveillance and intelligence gathering; operations with special forces; and combat search and rescue. Further, the submarine's ability to strike targets at, below and beyond the water's surface makes it a potent asset in the nation's arsenal.

Columbia is the 60th of 62 Los Angeles class submarines authorized for construction by Congress and the last of this class to be built at Electric Boat. The ship is equipped with the Tomahawk cruise missile system for a significant land attack and strike capability. Columbia is an improved version of the Los Angeles Class, with a hardened sail and retractable bow planes for surfacing through the ice during Arctic missions. Columbia is 360 feet long, has a beam of 33 feet and will displace 6,900 tons submerged. The ship will carry a crew of 127 Sailors and 14 officers. Commander Dale R. Govan, a native of Ledyard, Connecticut, will be the ship's commanding officer.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Lieutenant Commander Jim Brooks at Submarine Base New London, Groton, Connecticut, at (203) 449-3148/4779.

Additional Links

Stay Connected