PCU Minnesota Commissioning Committee to Learn Best Practices


Story Number: NNS111027-13Release Date: 10/27/2011 3:17:00 PM
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By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Commander, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Commissioning committee members supporting the future (USS) Minnesota (SSN 783) will attend the Pre-Commissioning Unit California (SSN 781) commissioning Oct. 29 to learn the nuances of a commissioning ceremony.

Commissioning committee members Dave Hutton, Brian Skon, and Jim Sillman will participate in tours aboard California; USS Norfolk (SSN 714), and USS Enterprise (CVN 65) prior to the commissioning of the Navy's newest Virginia-class submarine.

Retired Cmdr. Dave Hutton, president, Navy League of the U.S., Twin Cities Council and committee member highlighted the importance of their visit.

"We consider this an important opportunity to learn the scope and size of the project the Navy League Twin Cities Council has in front of it to coordinate the support of the USS Minnesota commissioning ceremony in 2013," said Hutton. "Minnesota's commissioning will be one of the greatest public interest stories in the state for the next two years. We look forward to engaging the entire Minnesota community in supporting the officers and Sailors and a great beginning to the life of 'our ship.'"

While California is on its way to becoming the Navy's newest submarine, the visiting Minnesota commissioning committee members will get an opportunity to visit USS Norfolk, the oldest submarine homeported in Norfolk, and USS Enterprise, the oldest aircraft carrier in the Fleet.

During their three-day visit to Norfolk, committee members will also visit with PCU Minnesota leadership to obtain lessons-learned that they can apply to their christening ceremony with the ship's sponsor, Ellen Roughead, spouse of former CNO Adm. Gary Roughead in late 2012 and their commissioning in 2013.

PCU Minnesota is being built under a unique teaming agreement between Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

"The upcoming commissioning ceremony represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work, commitment, and dedication on the part of the ship's crew and the entire shipbuilding team," said Cmdr. John Fancher, commanding officer of the future USS Minnesota.

California's commissioning marks the culmination of its successful construction process, which began in February 2006. By delivering submarines early to their contract delivery date and within target price, the Virginia class has become an acquisition model for the rest of the Navy.

The success only underscores the Submarine Force's continued ability to sustain readiness while remaining strategically flexible.

California is designed to dominate both the littorals and deep oceans and will serve as a valuable asset in supporting the core capabilities of the maritime strategy. California will be commissioned Oct. 29 at Naval Station Norfolk. The ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m., will be streamed live on www.navy.mil.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.

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