Norfolk, Virginia – August 1st marked an important day for the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, where the United States Navy commissioned its latest “fast attack” sub, the USS John Warner (SSN 785). As the 12th of the Virginia-class submarines, the USS John Warner will be featuring enhancements in stealth, surveillance and special warfare. It is expected to serve for 33 years.
The 7,800-ton, 377-foot long submarines in the Virginia-class have been hailed for their “stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite.” The USS John Warner, in particular, has an impressive set of capabilities, including high-accuracy Tomahawk cruise missiles that can attack land targets; long-term surveillance of forces on land and at sea; anti-sub and anti-surface ship warfare; and missions involving special forces support, mine-mapping and mine delivery – fitting credentials for a ship whose rallying cry is “On a Mission to Defend Freedom.”
The Navy’s newest fast attack submarine is named after John William Warner, who had been a sailor, a Marine and a five-term Senator from Virginia, as well as being the Secretary of the Navy in the 1970s. This is the first time one of the Virginia-class submarines would be named after a person; others had been named in honor of states.
The commissioning ceremony was held before 2,500 attendees, with the submarine’s namesake making an inspiring address, and his wife Jeanne as the vessel’s sponsor. The event’s keynote speech was delivered by Admiral Jonathan Greenert. This month’s commissioning followed other ceremonies for the submarine, including a 2013 ceremony when the keel was authenticated, and a christening in 2014.
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Lessig, Hugh. “Navy commissions the submarine USS John Warner at Norfolk ceremony.” Daily Press, 01 Aug 2015. Web. 10 Aug 2015. http://www.dailypress.com/news/military/dp-nws-john-warner-commissioning-20150801-story.html
“US Navy to commission new Virginia-class submarine, USS John Warner.” Naval-Technology.com, 31 Jul 2015. Web. 10 Aug 2015. http://www.naval-technology.com/news/newsus-navy-to-commission-new-virginia-class-submarine-uss-john-warner-4636199
“[Watch] Latest U.S. Attack Sub Commissioned.” The Maritime Executive, 01 Aug 2015. Web. 10 Aug 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/latest-us-attack-sub-commissioned