Wherever the USS Delaware goes after
she is launched in 2018, a “piece of my heart will go with her,” said
Dr. Jill Biden, who will sponsor the Navy’s newest Virginia-class
Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS California is photographed
during sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean, June 30, 2011. The Navy’s
newest submarine, USS Delaware, will be the same class as the
California. U.S. Navy photo by Chris Oxley
Biden, the wife of
Vice President Joe Biden and a native of Delaware, and Navy Secretary
Ray Mabus announced the name of the nuclear-powered submarine during a
ceremony at the Pentagon today.
“I am honored to sponsor the USS Delaware,” Biden said. “One of the best
parts of serving as second lady is the chance to meet so many members of
our military. I am always inspired by their strength and resilience. No
matter what challenges they face, our men and women in uniform serve
with courage and distinction. They are the reason we have the best,
most-powerful military in the world.
“It’s our duty to make sure they have everything they need to stay safe
and do their jobs,” she continued. “They need the very best equipment
and technology that we can provide them with and soon that will include
the USS Delaware.”
Delaware’s Sen. Tom Carper and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn also attended the
ceremony announcing the submarine’s name.
Vice President Joe Biden also attended the ceremony and donned a blue
ball cap bearing the name of the submarine.
This is the seventh U.S. Navy ship named Delaware, Mabus said. The last
USS Delaware was a coal-burning dreadnought that was decommissioned in
1923. The newest Delaware is designed to handle traditional submarine
missions -- finding and sinking enemy submarines and surface ships and
launching missiles at targets on land, the secretary said.
“But, Delaware will have some non-traditional capabilities as well --
gathering intelligence and delivering Navy SEALs, undetected, to their
missions,” he added.
Construction of the USS Delaware will begin next year and will be shared
by two shipyards -- Huntington Ingalls in Virginia and General Dynamics
Electric Boat in Connecticut.
The submarine is designed to operate decades, Mabus said.
“There will be sailors who serve on Delaware who are not yet born,” he
The Virginia-class fast-attack
submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit Mississippi conducts alpha trials in
the Atlantic Ocean April 7, 2012. The Navy’s newest submarine, USS
Delaware, will be the same class as the Mississippi. U.S. Navy photo
courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat