SSN 783 Name Announced (L.E. SSN 784 Too)
(See update at bottom; it turns out that two submarines were named today.)
According to a statement from Sen. Byron Dorgan, SSN
“This is great news for North Dakota. It’s a testament to the respect the Navy has for our state that the next Virginia-class submarine will be the USS North Dakota,” Senator Dorgan said. “North Dakota may be landlocked, but our state has contributed a great deal to the U.S. Navy. This ship will be a fitting tribute that should be a source of pride for all of our veterans.”...It's as good a name as any, but I can certainly imagine Dave Barry cracking some jokes as the boat comes up for christening.
...“There hasn’t been a ship named after the State of North Dakota in 85 years,” Hoeven said. “That’s why together we put on a full court press to get the Navy to name a submarine after our state, and we were successful. I think the more than 1,000 pictures colored by our young people which we presented to Donald Winter, Secretary of the Navy, impressed him with the grassroots effort our state made to name a submarine USS North Dakota.”
Senator Dorgan invited Senator Conrad, Congressman Pomeroy, Governor Hoeven, and a group of prominent North Dakotans earlier this year to take part in the effort to convince the Navy Secretary to designate a new USS North Dakota. The result was the formation of the USS North Dakota Committee. Dorgan asked former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, a native of Scranton, N.D., to act as honorary chair of the committee.
Senators Dorgan and Conrad, Congressman Pomeroy and Governor Hoeven led a delegation last month in a meeting with Navy Secretary Donald Winter at the Pentagon. The group outlined a plan for how North Dakota will support the ship and its crew. They said that after so many decades, the time is right for the Navy to name a new ship after North Dakota.
Bell-ringer 2357 16 July: When I posted this morning, I assumed that only one submarine would be named today; they actually designated two:
The Navy announced on July 15 that the next two Virginia-class attack submarines will be named the USS Minnesota and the USS North Dakota.And in answer to the commenter who wondered why Montana was left out... it turns out that there has been a USS Montana. It just got renamed after 12 years, right before it was decommissioned.
The selection of Minnesota, designated SSN 783, honors 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.
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 December 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.
The selection of the North Dakota, designated SSN 784, honors the state's citizens and veterans and their strong military support and heritage from the Frontier Wars through the Cold War and currently the war on terrorism. Seventeen North Dakotans have received the Medal of Honor for actions in combat, including Master Sgt. Woodrow W. Keeble who posthumously received the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony on March 3, 2008. This is the second ship to bear the name North Dakota. The first ship, the Delaware-class USS North Dakota, was in service from 1910 through 1923.