The US Navy commissioned USS Vermont (SSN 792), the 19th Virginia-class attack submarine, April 18, became the lastest in service. Although the traditional public commissioning ceremony was canceled due to public health restrictions on large public gatherings, the Navy commissioned USS Vermont administratively and transitioned the boat to normal operations. Meanwhile, the Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the ship's sponsor, crew and commissioning committee.
Vermont (SSN 792) is a Virginia-class attack submarine. The Virginia-class, also known as the VA-class or 774-class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines in service with the U.S. Navy. The submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions. They were conceived as a less expensive alternative to the Seawolf-class attack submarines, designed during the Cold War era, and are replacing older Los Angeles-class submarines, 20 of which have already been decommissioned.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony 18 September 2014 to announce that SSN 792, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Vermont. Mabus named the submarine to honor the longstanding partnership its namesake state has had with the Navy.
"From our nation's beginning, the people of Vermont have tirelessly supported our Navy, enabling us to become the unparalleled fighting force we are today," said Mabus. "I am here on the banks of Lake Champlain, to once again honor the sailors and Marines who have come from this great state, and to honor your support of our Navy and Marine Corps and your naval history."
Vermont's Lake Champlain was the site of two critical historic naval battles. Under the command of Commodore Benedict Arnold, the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island had a profound impact on the outcome of the Revolutionary War, and during the War of 1812, the U.S. defended Lake Champlain against invasion from Great Britain in the Battle of Plattsburgh.
"The name USS Vermont has a long history in our Navy," said Mabus. "In honor of the victories on Lake Champlain, following the War of 1812, the first USS Vermont was laid down and became one of our nation's largest and most powerful ships. The second USS Vermont was one of our great battleships in the years before World War I, and was one of the ships that led the Great White Fleet around the world."
This is the first ship named for Vermont since 1920 when the second USS Vermont was decommissioned.
On April 28, 2014, the Navy awarded the contract for ten Virginia Block IV submarines (SSN 792 through SSN 801) that will include improvements to reduce total ownership costs.
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