USS CALIFORNIA (SSN 781) christened November 7, 2010
- Balloons fall after the boat's sponsor, Donna Willard, christened the California on Saturday at the Newport News shipyard. From left to right, Cmdr. Dana Nelson, commanding officer, Pre-commissioning Unit California, Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations and Environment; Mike Petters, president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and Mrs. Donna Willard, sponsor of California. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding christened the eighth submarine of the Virginia class, California (SSN 781), at the company's Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va. on Nov. 6.Silence is Golden For New Sub Californiaby Staff Writers
Newport News, VA (SPX) Nov 08, 2010
Northrop Grumman christened the eighth submarine of the Virginia class, California (SSN 781), at the company's Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va.
Mrs. Donna Willard, the ship's sponsor, performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the submarine's hull. She is the wife of Adm. Robert F. Willard, the current Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.
Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, served as the keynote speaker.
"To the men and women of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, General DynamicsElectric Boat and the Navy's Virginia class program, congratulations on another world-class submarine," said Pfannenstiel. "With her nuclear power, this sub demonstrates some of our [nation's] finest technical capabilities."
"We know that the work we do is important," said Mike Petters, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "We know we are a critical part of the Navy/industry team that produces the most sophisticated and complex ships to keep our nation safe.
"We know we have to earn our place on that team with each and every weld with each and every pipe and with each and every test. We do this by never losing focus on what our founder, Collis P. Huntington, committed to 125 years ago, when he promised 'Always Good Ships'."
Other ceremony participants included U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.); U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.); Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, vice chief of Naval Operations; Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion; Rear Adm. David Johnson, program executive officer for Submarines; and John Casey, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.
"The shipbuilding team at Newport News and Electric Boat have done a great job constructing this powerful ship," said Donald. "Thank you for what you do."
Guests included Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat employees who are building California,and their families; family and friends of the California crew; U.S. Navy personnel; and government officials.
In conjunction with California's christening, Team Submarine launched an interactive learning event to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona, Calif.
During the month-long event students, teachers and parents watched the christening, will learn about submarines through exhibits and participate in an interactive submarine simulation called Mission Ocean.
These STEM events are being held at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona, at the Admiral Kidd Conference Center in San Diego on Nov. 15 and at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 18.
California, the eighth ship of the Virginia class, is named after the "Golden State." The ship's motto is, "Silence is Golden."
Upon delivery to the Navy in 2011, it will be the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, providing undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build Virginia-class submarines.
USS California, here it comes
Posted on: Sun, 07 Nov 2010Nov 07, 2010 (Daily Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The sleek black hull of the USS California towered over the raised podium, where Northrop Grumman Corp. officials, Navy admirals, and others celebrated Saturday's christening of the nuclear-powered submarine that was built in Newport News.
"It's beautiful. It's complex. I'll miss it," said Kenny Peele, who worked as a master shipbuilder on the California and numerous other ships over a 40-year career. Peele, 68, is retiring in the next few weeks. He and his wife, Cathy, plan to move to Florida.
"You never know from one day to the next where you're going to be on the boat," said Peele, who had a U.S. flag and a California state flag stuffed into his shirt pocket. "I've loved every minute of it."
Peele said he often worked seven days per week during his career at the Newport News shipyard, so the send-off of the California was an emotional moment. Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Newport News shipyard spent four years building the ship.
To christen the submarine, Donna Joy Willard -- wife of Adm. Bob Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command -- broke a bottle of sparkling wine on the side of the hull. She gave the bottle a full swing before 2,000 onlookers.
The Newport News shipyard is crucial to the Navy's nuclear submarine plans over the next 20 to 30 years, said Rear Adm. Dave Johnson. With the phaseout of the Los Angeles-class submarines, Johnson said, the Virginia-class subs, including those built in Newport News, will be needed for the Navy to maintain its fleet. The Navy has ordered two Virginia-class subs to be built per year.
Newport News is scheduled to build 18 of the Virginia-class submarines, said Mike Petters, president of Northrop Grumman shipbuilding. Virginia-class submarines are also built by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn.
"This is going to be the rhythm that we will be in for quite some time," Petters said. "Every ship we do is better than the last one."
The submarine will go into the water next week for testing, according to Northrop Grumman officials. Final delivery to the Navy is expected in spring 2011.
The $2.4 billion sub is being delivered in 64 months, which is 10 months early, according to Northrop Grumman.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, vice chief of naval operations, said the Virginia-class submarine program is strategic for the military.
"We have to have maritime superiority," Greenert said. "We have to rule the undersea domain. It's key to our long-range plans."
Also present at the ceremonies were Rep. Robert "Bobby" Scott, D-Newport News and Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland. Miss California Arianna Afsar sang the national anthem and "God Bless America."
Giant blue and gold letters spelling out California adorned the side of the submarine and matching balloons floated down to fill the cavernous bay where the submarine was built.
"If you don't feel proud today of what's being done here in Newport News, you don't have blood running through your veins," Wittman said.
Construction on the USS California began Feb. 15, 2006, in Newport News.
Cost: $2.4 billion
Number of shipbuilders working on the California: 1,200
Dimensions: 377 feet long, 34 feet in diameter
Speed: Capable of going more than 25 knots
Crew: About 130 officers and sailors will be operating the submarine, commanded by Cdr. Dana Nelson
Motto: Silence is golden, referencing the importance of submarines being undetected in the ocean depths.
Fun fact: Can stay submerged for up to three months at a time
U.S. Navy names submarine "California"
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Navy on Saturday named a submarine after the state of California, reflecting the tremendous support provided by the golden state to the Navy and Marine Corps, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
"Naming this submarine after California reflects the tremendous support we provide to the Navy and Marine Corps here in the Golden State," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
"It is a fitting tribute to the 2.1 million veterans and 200,000 active duty service members and their families that call California home, along with the countless local communities who support our military families and the defense industry and their suppliers who manufacture equipment and develop the technology needed to assist the global fight against terrorism."
The 7,800-ton submarine is 377-feet long, has a 34-feet beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.
California is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.
This is the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name California. The last U.S.S. California, a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, was decommissioned on July 9, 1999.
The most famous U.S.S. California was a battleship, which served as the first flagship in the Pacific Fleet.PRESS RELEASE
11/06/2010 GAAS-717-10 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement After U.S. Navy Names Ship CaliforniaGovernor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement after the U.S. Navy today named a submarine after the state of California:Naming this submarine after California reflects the tremendous support we provide to the Navy and Marine Corps here in the Golden State. It is a fitting tribute to the 2.1 million veterans and 200,000 active duty service members and their families that call California home, along with the countless local communities who support our military families and the defense industry and their suppliers who manufacture equipment and develop the technology needed to assist the global fight against terrorism.The U.S. Navy christened the California today at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News in Newport News, VA.This is the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name California. The last U.S.S. California, a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, was decommissioned on July 9, 1999. The most famous U.S.S. California was a battleship, which served as the first flagship in the Pacific Fleet.Designated SSN 781, California is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. The 7,800-ton submarine is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.
Also see for more photos and information: http://www.californiality.com/2010/11/uss-california-christened.html