by Christopher Annino
On July 31, sailors assigned to the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780) attended the commissioning ceremony at the Naval Submarine Base New London. More than 3,000 people from across the nation arrived to show their patriotism at the ceremony. The bright, new submarine gave off a certain pureness to the crew and visitors who came to see it.
During the commissioning, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, said, in regards to the Navy’s defense program, “For every dollar we don’t spend correctly, that’s one less we have to defend the country.”
At 377-feet long and over 8,000 tons, the USS Missouri is able to dive up to depths greater than 800 feet and can exceed 25 knots while submerged. The USS Missouri is a multipurpose vessel built for anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions in both the world’s shallow littoral regions and deep waters.
The construction on Missouri began in December 2004; the submarine’s keel was authenticated during a ceremony on Sept. 27, 2008 at the Electric Boat facility in North Kingstown, RI; and, she was christened during a late morning ceremony at Electric Boat on Dec. 5, 2009.
The USS Missouri is named in honor of the people of the “Show Me State.” The last USS Missouri, the legendary battleship, was 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 on Sept. 2, 1945.