Commander, Submarine Group Two


PCU North Dakota CO Participates in First Namesake Visit

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The commanding officer of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) North Dakota (SSN 784) participates in his first namesake visit to the "friendliest" state, Jan. 11-13.

"Namesake visits are critical during the construction phase of a submarine because it increases the awareness of the critical investment by the taxpayers of North Dakota and the nation," said Cmdr. Doug Gordon, PCU North Dakota's commanding officer.

During the visit to the submarine's namesake state, Gordon will tour the North Dakota State Capitol and North Dakota Heritage Center and visit the city of Bismarck-Mandan. Gordon is also expected to meet with the state's Navy League, submarine veterans of North Dakota, USS North Dakota Commissioning Committee members, state dignitaries, state legislators, and Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

In late October 2011, PCU North Dakota's Chief of the Boat Master Chief Electronics Technician (SS/DV) Timothy A. Preabt, originally from Mandan, N.D., met with Bismarck Mayor John Warford; Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling; the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and with other related organizations during his visit.

PCU North Dakota, the second ship named in honor of North Dakota, is being constructed at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, and Quonset Point, R.I. as well as at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division in Newport News, Va., and will be the 11th Virginia-class submarine when it is commissioned in 2014.

The other ship to bear the name North Dakota was the Delaware-class USS North Dakota (BB 29), which was in service from 1910 to 1923. The contract to build PCU North Dakota was awarded to Electric Boat division of General Dynamics in Groton, Conn., Dec. 22, 2008 as part of a teaming arrangement with Newport News Shipbuilding.

Virginia-class submarines are designed to dominate the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; irregular; and mine warfare missions; as well as support special operation forces; and covert intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.