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USS Idaho is officially christened, now set for a year of testing

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI)-An official warship has been named after the gem state for the first time in over a century.

The most recent ship before the submarine, bearing the Idaho name was christened in 1919.

While the USS Idaho was a battleship during World War II and served the Navy during the Pacific theater, the submarine was decommissioned in 1946.

The Museum of Idaho will be hosting a watch party of the re-aired broadcast from the christening at 6:30 p.m.

Retired Navy Captain Marty Sattison who is a part of the USS Idaho's commission shared what's the next for the submarine.

"The next step after today will be to continue to do the testing and acceptance and finish the construction period. Then there'll be a series of sea trials where they take it out to sea, run it through its paces, and do all the testing necessary to say, yes, this ship does what the designers intended it to do and it does it well," Captain Sattison said.

Captain Sattison says that the crew for the Idaho has been in the gem state multiple times to connect with the state their sub will be named after. To help further that connection, Captain Sattison shares that they have also been able to paint murals of scenes from Idaho.

"We will put murals of the Sawtooth Mountains of some of the lakes and streams in the various public living spaces like the galley, the wardrobe, and some of the other places throughout the ship," Captain Sattison said.

The family of a submarine vet was also in attendance at the watch party, Jenny Clough shared how helping their children learn about what Jason Clough did in the navy is very important to them.

"With our kids being so young, it's exciting for us to be able to introduce the US Navy to them and what their dad did and why it's important...they're nine now and he retired five years ago, so they definitely don't remember much. They remember a little bit of Daddy being gone, but not too much," Jenny said.

Jason added that when he was in the Navy his daughters weren't old enough to be on the sub with him, now he gets to show them firsthand in part what he does.

"It's pretty cool to see this and see see the submarine say they're going to bring on the boat that was inside as well. Overall, it seems like it's a fun night for everyone involved and it's cool," Jason said.

He added that seeing a Virginia class sub bearing the name of the state he calls home is a source of pride for him. He also helped explain what a Virginia class sub is.

"It is a fast attack submarine that carries about 130 guys, and submarines do a variety of missions," Jason said.

The executive director of the Museum of Idaho also shared how they felt hosting the historic moment in their museum was like.

"We've been aware for a long time about the USS Idaho and have been excited about it. We've had lectures about it. But we are just so pleased to be able to partner with wonderful people who all sort of come together and people just come out of the woodwork who are interested in this sort of thing," Jeff Carr Museum's executive director said.

He added that for him sharing the Idaho legacy with the nation is exhilarating.

"Idaho is one of the states that I think most people know least about in the country. And I think it's it's wonderful to have representation on a national stage in this way and even just to have a submarine for the Navy going out, flying our colors and saying, hey, this is one of the states and places that we're proud of, and it helps everyone learn a little bit more about all the good stuff that we have going on here since the last one was 100 years ago," Carr said.

Ross Carroll a submariner vet shared that as he has tried to share the sub's story people across the state are excited about it.

"There's so much naval history in Idaho and especially in our area in eastern Idaho with this site and the development of nuclear power for propulsion on submarines. The connection with the ship is been fantastic and not a hard thing to do at all. And there's so much rich history here in Idaho with the Navy," Carroll said.

Carroll also encouraged people to learn more about the sub and its history by visiting the sub's website, as well as looking at merch.

"Folks, ask where they can obtain hats and different items from the ship and all those proceeds that are raised from that website and selling things. And the events that we do here locally all go to the ship. They go to a scholarship foundation established for the ship. So it goes for the sailors, past sailors, spouses, and children of folks who have been stationed on the USS Idaho," Carroll said.

A link to that website can be found here.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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