U.S. Navy Secretary to Commission Submarine Mississippi

The Navy’s newest Vir­ginia-class attack sub­ma­rine Mis­sis­sip­pi will be com­mis­sioned Sat­ur­day, June 2, 2012, dur­ing a 10 a.m. CDT cer­e­mo­ny at the Port of Pascagoula in Pascagoula, Miss.

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Sec­re­tary of the Navy Ray Mabus will deliv­er the ceremony’s prin­ci­pal address. Alli­son Stiller, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of the Navy for ship pro­grams, will serve as the ship’s spon­sor. In the time-hon­ored Navy tra­di­tion she will give the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

The selec­tion of Mis­sis­sip­pi as the name for the sub­ma­rine is ded­i­cat­ed to the state’s long-stand­ing tra­di­tion of ship­build­ing in sup­port of our nation’s defense. It also hon­ors the indomitable spir­it of the peo­ple of Mis­sis­sip­pi, who have made great strides in recov­er­ing from the dev­as­ta­tion of Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na. This fight­ing spir­it will be an inspi­ra­tion to all sailors who embark aboard Mis­sis­sip­pi.

There have been four pre­vi­ous ships named Mis­sis­sip­pi. The first Mis­sis­sip­pi, a side wheel­er, served as Com­modore Matthew Perry’s flag­ship for his his­toric voy­age to Japan and fought with Admi­ral Farragut’s forces on the Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er dur­ing the Civ­il War. The sec­ond and third were bat­tle­ships, a BB-23 in World War I and a BB-41 in World War II. The fourth Mis­sis­sip­pi, a Vir­ginia-class nuclear guid­ed mis­sile cruis­er, was decom­mis­sioned in 1997.

Des­ig­nat­ed SSN 782, the ninth ship of the Vir­ginia class, Mis­sis­sip­pi is built to excel in anti­sub­ma­rine war­fare; anti­ship war­fare; strike war­fare; spe­cial oper­a­tions; intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance, and recon­nais­sance; irreg­u­lar war­fare; and mine war­fare mis­sions. Adept at oper­at­ing in both the world’s shal­low lit­toral regions and deep waters, Mis­sis­sip­pi will direct­ly enable five of the six Navy mar­itime strat­e­gy core capa­bil­i­ties — sea con­trol, pow­er pro­jec­tion, for­ward pres­ence, mar­itime secu­ri­ty, and deter­rence.

Capt. John McGrath, a native of Nep­tune, N.J., and a 1990 grad­u­ate from the U.S. Naval Acad­e­my, will be the ship’s com­mand­ing offi­cer, lead­ing a crew of approx­i­mate­ly 134 offi­cers and enlist­ed per­son­nel.

The 7,800-ton Mis­sis­sip­pi was built under a team­ing arrange­ment between Gen­er­al Dynam­ics-Elec­tric Boat and Hunt­ing­ton Ingalls Indus­try-New­port News Ship­build­ing and was deliv­ered to the Navy one year ahead of con­tract sched­ule and under cost. Mis­sis­sip­pi took just over 62 months to build, which set the record for the Vir­ginia Class Sub­ma­rine program’s fastest deliv­ery.

The boat is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and oper­ate at speeds in excess of 25 knots sub­merged. Mis­sis­sip­pi is designed with a nuclear reac­tor plant that will not require refu­el­ing dur­ing the planned life of the ship — reduc­ing life­cy­cle costs while increas­ing under­way time.

The com­mis­sion­ing will be aired live on the U.S. Navy’s Face­book page http://www.facebook.com/usnavy and Livestream chan­nel http://www.livestream.com/usnavy begin­ning at 10 a.m. CDT (11 a.m. EDT). Join the con­ver­sa­tion on Twit­ter #NewMiss .

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Infor­ma­tion at 703–697-5342. For more infor­ma­tion on attack sub­marines, vis­it: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4 .

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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