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USS IDAHO christening date set in March

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Next month, the U.S. Navy's newest Virginia-class submarine, the future USS IDAHO, will be formally christened and named.

It will happen on March 16 at General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

This is the first U.S. Navy warship that will bear the name USS IDAHO in more than 100 years. The battleship USS IDAHO BB42 was christened in June 1917.

The USS IDAHO commissioning committee is led by former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, who serves as the committee's advisory board chair. 

"It's incredible what this landlocked state has done with regard to the heritage and the history of the U.S. Navy in Farragut State Park up in the northern part of our state. During World War II, over 300,000 young sailors went through there and were trained. It was the second largest naval training facility in the United States," he said. "The fact that the first nuclear submarine, which President Eisenhower utilized to blunt what the Russians are doing was Sputnik trying to say communism is the wave of the future. Capitalism is dead. No. He sent the nautilus from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic under the polar ice cap. It could never have been done had it not been a nuclear submarine. But what about that submarine? The propulsion system was designed and built in Idaho. The officers and the nuclear certified crew all trained in Idaho."

Ship sponsor Terry Stackley will christen the submarine in the traditional manner with a bottle.   

But in an Idahoan twist, rather than breaking a bottle of champagne on the boat's hull, she will christen it with a bottle containing water that she has collected from four of Idaho's lakes.

They include lake Pend Oreille, Payette Lake, Henrys Lake and Redfish Lake.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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