PCU Hawaii To Be Christened Saturday
In what appears to be just about the stealthiest christening in a long time, PCU Hawaii (SSN 776) will probably be christened on Saturday. I really haven't seen anything out about this happy event until today, when a Hawaii paper reported that the submarine will be "blessed":
"Gov. Linda Lingle, the ship's sponsor, and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye will represent Hawaii at the blessing. Retired Hawaii Army National Guard Master Sgt. Raymond Ganotise will give the blessing. Also in the audience will be Adm. Gary Roughead, Pacific Fleet commander."
The article doesn't once use the word "christened"; it does, however, have some other useful "information":
"At 7,800 tons the Hawaii also is lighter than a 8,100-ton Seawolf-class submarine. Six Virginia-class submarines are contemplated, but so far only one, the USS Virginia, is in service, with the USS Texas expected to join the fleet next month."
I probably shouldn't be too hard on these reporters who don't normally cover submarines, but if you're going to put information down, why not make it correct? For the record, Seawolf-class boats displace 9,100+ tons (with SSN23 displacing more) and there are at least 10 Virginia class boats planned.
Despite no mention of the upcoming event that I could find on either the Electric Boat or SubGru TWO homepages, I was able to confirm that the upcoming "blessing" is actually a christening -- the protesters are planning on being there, and provided the scheduling information. Here's what the boat they're going to protest looked like when she was rolled out of the big green building at EB:
Who could protest against something so pretty?
Update 2325 14 June: Here's the DoD press release on the christening.