SEATTLE (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), the Honorable Ray Mabus, attended a ship naming ceremony in Seattle at the Port of Seattle in front of guests who included the Governor of the State of Washington, Jay Inslee, Feb. 7.
USS Washington (SSN 787) is currently under construction in Newport News, Va.
"I am really happy to be in Washington, such a strong Navy partner," said Mabus. "It's very fitting that we welcome Washington back into our fleet after a long absence. Today we celebrate that the next nuclear powered submarine, SSN-787, will be named USS Washington."
"It wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that a ship was named after the state," said Mabus. "There has not been a Washington in our fleet since the battleship USS Washington left service after WWII. I am very happy to correct that today."
Virginia-class attack submarines are nuclear powered, fast attack subs designed to operate in shallow coastal regions, while maintaining the capacity for open ocean submarine warfare.
"Like others in her class the USS Washington will be indispensable to the Navy's increased role in our new defense strategy," said Mabus.
Following the SECNAV's speech, Inslee spoke on the importance of USS Washington and her namesake.
"This is a Navy state, a Navy state by tradition," said Inslee. "I want to thank the U.S. Navy and its leadership for being great partners with Washington State."
USS Washington (SSN 787) began construction in 2011 and is slated to join the fleet in 2016.
"The men and women who serve on board this submarine represent your state and will be in parts of the world where they will be the only Americans many people will ever see," said Mabus. "Your namesake will ply the waters of the globe, giving others the chance to see what the Navy can do and what Washington means to the Navy and the country."
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