USA — Navy to Christen Submarine California

The Navy will chris­ten its newest attack sub­ma­rine Cal­i­for­nia, Sat­ur­day, Nov. 6, dur­ing an 11 a.m. EST cer­e­mo­ny at Northrop Grum­man Ship­build­ing-New­port News, in New­port News, Va. Jack­a­lyne Pfan­nen­stiel, assis­tant sec­re­tary of the Navy for ener­gy, instal­la­tions, and envi­ron­ment, will deliv­er the ceremony’s prin­ci­pal address. Don­na Willard, wife of Adm. Robert Willard, com­man­der, U.S. Pacif­ic Com­mand, will serve as ship’s spon­sor.

Cal­i­for­nia, the eighth ship of the Vir­ginia class, is named after the “Gold­en State.” The selec­tion of Cal­i­for­nia hon­ors the thou­sands of men and women from the state who serve in today’s armed forces, and the mil­lions of Cal­i­forn­ian vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies. As home to major Naval and Marine Corps instal­la­tions, the selec­tion of Cal­i­for­nia also reflects the tremen­dous sup­port pro­vid­ed to the Navy and Marine Corps by count­less com­mu­ni­ties across the Gold­en State. This will be the sev­enth ship to bear the name Cal­i­for­nia.

Des­ig­nat­ed SSN 781, Cal­i­for­nia is built to excel in anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare; anti-ship 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, Cal­i­for­nia will direct­ly enable five of the six Navy mar­itime strat­e­gy core capa­bil­i­ties — sea con­trol, pow­er pro­jec­tion, for­ward pres­ence, mar­itime secu­ri­ty, and deter­rence.

Cmdr. Dana A. Nel­son, a native of Clin­ton, Conn., and a 1992 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 Cal­i­for­nia is built under a team­ing arrange­ment between Northrop Grum­man Ship­build­ing-New­port News and Gen­er­al Dynam­ics Elec­tric Boat. She 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. Cal­i­for­nia 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.

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

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