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USS Idaho officially under construction

uss idaho
(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Joshua Karsten/RELEASED)
The crew of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Idaho (SSN 799) observes an assumption of command ceremony at Flasher World War II Memorial in Groton, Conn. August 21, 2020.

GROTON, Conn. (KIFI/KIDK)-The U.S. Navy’s future USS Idaho submarine has its first skipper.

Commander Nicholas Meyers assumed command of the nuclear-powered Virginia-class submarine at Flasher World War II Memorial in Groton, Connecticut last Friday.   Meyers called it the highlight of his 18-year naval career.

“It’s an honor and privilege to lead the Idaho crew into preparations to take custody of the ship, take her out to sea and answer the nation’s call,” said Meyers. “This is our first profound milestone. As these milestones progress our mission is to be ready, both independently and as a team and ready to fight if called upon.”

A keel-laying ceremony was held with former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne Monday at the General Dynamic Electric Boat’s hull fabrication facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

According to the Navy, Idaho’s namesake is the USS Idaho (BB 42), a historic WWII-era battleship named after the 43rd U.S. state. The new submarine is the fifth U.S. Navy vessel named for the state of Idaho with the first commissioned in 1864 – a steam sloop that served as a store and hospital ship. The newest Idaho submarine will hold a crew of 135 including three native Idahoans. Meyers said the ship is currently manning and training the crew and are on track to begin nuclear propulsion training next.

The PCU Idaho is currently under construction.  The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine will ultimately join SUBRON 4 and USS Greenville. A christening and eventual commissioning of the boat will be held in 2023. 

“As the ship is constructed we will be constructing our own warfighting readiness,” said Meyers. “That process has already begun and it will continue as the ship proceeds ultimately through christening, commissioning, and upon being delivered to the United States Navy.”

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