SSN 783 Minnesota
Minnesota was the 10th of a projected 30 Virginia-class submarines. Construction began in February 2008 and her name was announced on 15 July 2008. The name Minnesota was selected to honor the state's residents and their continued support of the US military. The state was home to 46 Medal of Honor recipients spanning the Civil War to the Vietnam War. SSN 783 was the third US Navy ship named for the North Star state.
Minnesota was designed to provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. She would have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and special warfare enhancements that would enable her to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements. Designated SSN 783, Minnesota was built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Capable of operating in both the world's shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Minnesota would directly enable 5 of the 6 Navy maritime strategy core capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), hosted a keel laying ceremony on 20 May 2011, for the new submarine USS Minnesota (SSN 783). Ellen Roughead, wife of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead, served as the ship's sponsor and keel authenticator for the ceremony. Roughead authenticated the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. Her initials were then welded onto the plate, which was permanently affixed to the ship. Minnesota was being built under a teaming arrangement between HII and General Dynamics Electric Boat. Upon completion, the submarine would be 7,800-tons and 377-feet long, have a 34-foot beam, would be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet, and would operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Minnesota was designed with a nuclear reactor plant that would not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs and increasing underway time.
The Navy christened its newest submarine, the future USS Minnesota (SSN 783), on 27 October 2012, at Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News in Newport News, Virginia. Minnesota's sponsor, Ellen Roughead, broke a ceremonial bottle of sparkling wine against the submarine's hull, officially naming the ship. Roughead, the wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral (Retired) Gary Roughead, had been a tireless supporter of military families and continuing education initiatives for Navy spouses.
On 6 September 2013, it was announced that the Navy’s newest Virginia-class attack submarine Minnesota would be commissioned on 7 September 2013, during a ceremony at the Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus would deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Ellen Roughead, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead and a Minnesota native, would serve as ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition she would give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
On 15 October 2013, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that fast attack submarines USS Virginia (SSN 774) and USS Minnesota (SSN 783) had been selected as the initial 2 Virginia-class submarines to integrate female officers. A total of six female officers, two Supply Corps and four nuclear-trained, would report aboard no later than January 2015.
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