Navy to Commission Submarine South Dakota
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy will commission its newest fast-attack submarine, the future USS South Dakota (SSN 790), during a ceremony Feb. 2 at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, the Defense Department said in a release.
The principal speaker will be U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota. The submarine’s sponsor is Deanie Dempsey, wife of the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. She will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!” in a time-honored Navy tradition.
“USS South Dakota enters service during a period of dynamic security challenges,” said Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer. “I am confident USS South Dakota and its crew will ensure our Navy and nation remain safe and strong, and proudly serve our nation’s interest for decades to come.”
South Dakota, a Virginia-class submarine is the third ship to bear the state’s name. The first South Dakota was an armored cruiser commissioned Jan. 27, 1908. The ship served in a convoy escort role during World War I before being renamed Huron June 7, 1920. It was decommissioned following seven years of service in the Pacific on June 17, 1927.
The second ship was a battleship commissioned March 20, 1942. It saw service in a number of important World War II battles including Santa Cruz, Guadalcanal, Philippine Sea, and Okinawa, earning 13 battle stars over the course of the war. South Dakota was present at Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered and was later placed out of commission on Jan. 31, 1947.
USS South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class attack submarine and the seventh Virginia-class Block III submarine.