Navy Set to Commission Submarine California
GROTON, Conn. - The Navy's newest attack submarine, California (SSN 781), will be commissioned Oct. 29, during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
California, the eighth ship of the Virginia class, is named after the "Golden State."
California has already reached significant milestones in her life. Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully launched California at the company's Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va. on Nov. 14. In addition, the shipbuilder christened California on Nov. 6. At the ceremony, Mrs. Donna Willard, the ship's sponsor, performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the submarine's hull. She is the wife of Adm. Robert F. Willard, the current Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.
Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, served as the keynote speaker.
Cmdr. Dana A. Nelson, a native of Clinton, Conn., will be the ship's commanding officer, leading a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel. A 1992 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, Nelson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.
California's motto is "Silence is Golden." Upon delivery to the Navy later this year, she will be the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, providing undersea supremacy well into the 21st century.
Construction on California began Feb. 15, 2006 with keel authentication occurring May 1, 2009.
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.
The 7,800-ton submarine California is being built under a teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News. At 377-feet long, California is slightly longer than a football field. She has a 34-foot beam, will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and will 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 and increasing underway time.
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