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Navy prepares for the U.S.S Idaho submarine keel-laying ceremony

Posted at 1:27 PM, Aug 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 09:11:45-04

BOISE, Idaho — The United States Navy will hold a keel-laying ceremony for the USS Idaho on Monday morning.

This time-honored Navy tradition is an essential step in creating a ship, and the ceremony will be live-streamed at 8:00 a.m.

The USS Idaho will be the 26th submarine in the Virginia series. It's the Navy's most advanced nuclear submarine.

"The primary role of the submarine force, in general, is to stay forward-deployed undetected be on scene unseen," said CMDR. Craig Litty of the U.S.S. South Dakota. "We can deliver both the Mark 48 heavyweight torpedo and the Tomahawk land attack missile."

General Dynamics is constructing this $2.44 billion piece of equipment at a shipyard in Rhode Island. The submarine is 377 feet long, can travel up to 25 knots and is capable of diving 800 feet.

The Navy recently held a ceremony to name Nicholas Meyers as the USS Idaho commander. Its crew of 135 sailors will also feature three native Idahoans.

After the keel-laying ceremony, the next step will be to christen the vessel, and then after trials, the submarine will be officially commissioned into the U.S. Navy's fleet.

Former Idaho governor Dirk Kempthorne will represent Idaho as the chairman of the advisory board for the USS Idaho commissioning committee.

Teresa Stackley gets the honor of being the submarine's sponsor. She's the wife of former Navy Secretary Sean Stackley. Past sponsors in the Virginia series include Dr. Jill Biden, Michelle Obama, and Laura Bush.

The USS Idaho will be the fifth ship to represent Idaho, but the first in more than a century. The last one was a battleship that played a crucial role in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.