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USS Idaho to be christened

| February 21, 2024 1:05 AM

The U.S. Navy's newest Virginia-class submarine, the future USS IDAHO, will be formally christened and named on March 16 at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn.

In a long-standing naval tradition, ship sponsor Terry Stackley will christen the submarine in the traditional manner with a bottle.   

"In a uniquely Idahoan twist, rather than breaking a bottle of champagne on the boat's hull, Stackley will christen it with a bottle containing water that she has collected from four of Idaho's lakes — Lake Pend Oreille, Payette Lake, Henrys Lake, and Redfish Lake," a press release said. 

This is the first U.S. Navy warship that will bear the name USS IDAHO in more than 100 years; the battleship USS IDAHO BB42 was christened in June 1917.

The christening is the third of five major events in the life of a U.S. Navy warship before she joins the fleet and is deemed ready for combat, the release said.

Generally, the process takes about five years. The first event was the naming of the vessel. The second event was the keel-laying ceremony, officially marking the beginning of construction, which took place in August 2020 in Quonset Point, R.I. 

After the christening, the submarine will undergo sea trials to ensure the ship's performance is in accordance with plans and specifications, according to the release. 

After this rigorous series of tests, which should take about a year, the vessel will be accepted by the U.S. Navy in a commissioning ceremony prior to becoming an active part of the nation's military strategy.

“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event; to celebrate the naming of a Navy ship for the great state of Idaho, to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans, to recognize the incredible Navy history and Navy legacy our state has and to recognize the amazing contribution our state has made to the acoustic stealth and nuclear power technology of our submarine force,” said former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.