USA: Ship’s Sponsor Visits Submarine Minnesota

Ship's Sponsor Visits Submarine Minnesota

The crew of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Minnesota (SSN 783) marked another major milestone when placing their boat in service and moving aboard March 14, in Newport News, Va.

Minnesota’s sponsor, Ellen Roughead and her husband, the former Chief of Naval Operations retired Adm. Gary Roughead, visited Minnesota and partook in the first meal served aboard the submarine.

“The crew has been looking forward to moving aboard for some time now,” said Cmdr. John Fancher, USS Minnesota commanding officer. “Sailors join the Navy to serve their country and go to sea, and this brings us another important step closer to that goal. Mrs. Roughead has been incredibly gracious over the last two years, and the crew has wanted to show off their submarine and return some of that hospitality. We are truly honored to share this milestone event with our sponsor.”

PCU Minnesota is under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News and will begin preparations for its first, or Alpha, sea trials this spring. During Alpha Trials, Minnesota will be put through a battery of tests including diving to test depth, conducting an emergency surfacing, and testing the submarine’s propulsion plant; all of which go toward demonstrating the ship’s seaworthiness and operational performance.

Minnesota, the 10th ship of the Virginia class and the last under the second, or Block II, contract is scheduled to deliver approximately one year early to its contract delivery date and will be commissioned Sept. 7, in Norfolk.

The submarine is the third ship to be named after Minnesota, with the last one being more than a century ago in 1905.

Naval Today Staff, March 18, 2013; Image: US Navy