USS Minnesota To Be Commissioned Saturday [AUDIO,VIDEO]
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA - The United States Navy will commission its newest submarine -- the USS Minnesota -- this Saturday. It's the final event of three major ceremonies to begin the life of any ship. It's being held at the naval station in Norfolk, Virginia - the largest Navy base in the world.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will be speaking at the event.
Commissioning Committee Co-Chair Brian Skon says the fast attack sub is the most advanced ship in the world.
Skon says the ship is so advanced it never has to refuel.
Skon says the U.S.S. Minnesota will have a total of 140 crew members, with 15 officers. The lifespan of the U.S.S. Minnesota is about 35 years.
The U.S. Navy commissions six to eight war ships every year.
It becomes just the third ship to bear the name "Minnesota", the first one was a steam frigate launched in 1855 and was used in the Civil War. A bell and wheel from the first USS Minnesota will be there. They are on loan from the Minnesota Historical Society.
The last time the Navy commissioned a ship with the name "Minnesota" was back in 1907, so it's likely it won't happen again in our lifetime.
Local State Representatives Tim O'Driscoll of Sartell, Tama Theis of St. Cloud, and Jeff Howe of Rockville will all be in Norfolk on Saturday for the commissioning ceremony.
Click on the audio player below to hear the entire interview with Brian Skon: