USS Idaho Commissioning Committee works to help the crew of the Navy's next nuclear submarine

Posted at 1:30 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 15:30:30-04

BOISE, Idaho — The USS Idaho will be the 26th submarines in the United States Navy's Virginia class of nuclear submarines.

The sub is currently being built and the Navy plans on christening the sub next summer and then commissioning it after a year of trials with the crew.

The USS Idaho will have a crew of 120 sailors and four are native Idahoans, you can read more about these local heroes here.

"We want to honor the legacy forged by the previous sailors on the USS Idaho," said Nick Meyers the commanding officer of the future USS Idaho. "She was in service from 1919 to 1946, fought in World War II and was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered in 1945."

Idaho has so much history when it comes to the Navy and nuclear energy, it's something the USS Idaho Commissioning Committee here at home wants to showcase.

"It’s so important in Idaho because of Idaho’s rich Navy history," said Richard Colburn the head of the committee. "This ship and this crew will be representing us and demonstrating our pride in our country and our state."

Richard Colburn is from Parma, he served in the Navy himself and now he hopes to raise one million dollars for the christening and commissioning ceremony, but most of the money raised will go towards the sailors on this submarine.

"We are trying to establish a scholarship foundation for crew members and their families and that scholarship we hope will be in existence for 50 or 60 years," said Colburn.

The committee is also working to provide modern gym equipment for the sailors, name some of the rooms after Idaho warfighters and outfit this submarine with Idaho art and memorabilia.

"The idea is when you step onto the submarine it will feel like you are in Idaho," said Colburn.

And that will help the native Idahoans who will live and work on this submarine feel closer to home when they are out at sea.

“It’s a little unique, it’s kind of strange and kind of scary," said Andrew Leonhardt who's originally from Nampa. "But once you get used to it you see the beauty that is the machine as it operates as the crew does everything that they need to do, it really becomes ingrained in you and you become part of a family."