By Jayne Keedle
More than 4,000 people turned out for the christening of the USS North Dakota (SSN784) on November 2 at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton on Saturday. The Virginia class submarine is the U.S. Navy's newest and most advanced nuclear-attack submarine.
Katie Fowler, wife of retired Vice Adm. Jeff Fowler, is the ship's sponsor and did the champagne-smashing honors. Speakers included Vice Adm. Michael J. Connor, commander – Submarine Forces, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island), and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.).
The submarine North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S. Navy combatants designed for the post-Cold War era. Unobtrusive, non-provocative and connected with land, air, sea and space-based assets, North Dakota and the other Virginia-class submarines are equipped to wage multi-dimensional warfare around the globe, providing the Navy with continued dominance in coastal waters or the open ocean.
Electric Boat and its construction partner, Newport News Shipbuilding, have delivered 10 Virginia-class submarines to the Navy, and have contracts for eight additional ships.
In case you couldn't make it, you'll find a video of the event online and more information at www.gdeb.com. More information about General Dynamics Electric Boat is available at www.gdeb.com. More information about General Dynamics is available at www.generaldynamics.com.