In a ceremony taking place at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia over the weekend, the US Navy commissioned its newest Virginia-class submarine as USS John Warner (SSN 785). The commissioning was presided over by John Warner himself (who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974), Director of Naval Reactors and prospective Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson, and current CNO Admiral Jonathan Greenert.
In his keynote address, Admiral Greenert said,
“This boat is the latest incarnation of American sea power, and is a strategic asset for this country. This affords us what we refer to as global access, and it is fundamental to any mission that you ask your military to do. Frankly, we are challenged in space, we are challenged in cyber, we are challenged in the air and we are challenged on the surface. We are not currently challenged in the undersea. We own the undersea domain. We must keep that situation as we go into the future.”
US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stated, “The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service for this great submarine, a fitting tribute to a man who served his nation for so long as a sailor, a Marine, a US Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as Secretary of the Navy.”
Notably, the USS John Warner is the first Virginia-class submarine to be named after a person, while the others of its kind have taken their names from US states. The 7,800-ton submarine was delivered to the Navy at the end of June by prime contractors GD Electric Boat and HII Newport News, three months ahead of schedule.
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