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The decision to name SSBN 826 is to alleviate any name conflicts with the already-commissioned USS Columbia (SSN 771). §10 U.S.C. 8662(a) states that not more than one vessel of the Navy may have the same name.
The Columbia program was named in 2016 with the lead ship projected to enter service in 2027, consequently overlapping with the existing USS Columbia (SSN 771). SSBN 826 will be named after the nation’s capital while SSN 771 is named after cities in South Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois named Columbia, following the naval tradition of SSNs being named after U.S. cities.
The future USS District of Columbia’s (SSBN 826) keel laying ceremony will take place on June 4, 2022 at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Quonset Point, R.I. The ship’s sponsors are District of Columbia Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.
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