Navy to Christen Newest Attack Submarine Oregon

The attack submarine USS John Warner arrives at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. The latest of the Virginia class, the USS Oregon, is set to be christened on Oct. 5 in Groton. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Hoskins

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy will christen its newest attack submarine, the future USS Oregon, during a ceremony Oct. 5 at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, the Defense Department said in a release. 

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. The submarine’s sponsor is Dana Richardson. She will highlight the ceremony by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition. 

“The future USS Oregon will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom,” said Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer. “She stands as proof of what teamwork — from civilian to contractor to military — can accomplish. I am confident USS Oregon and her crew will ensure our Navy remains safe and strong to proudly serve our nation’s interest for decades to come.” 

Oregon, a Virginia-class submarine designated SSN 793, is the third Navy ship to honor the state. The first USS Oregon was a brigantine ship purchased in 1841 and used for exploration until 1845. 

The second Oregon (Battleship No. 3) was commissioned on July 15, 1896. Known for one of the most dramatic voyages ever undertaken by a Navy ship, Oregon sailed more than 14,000 miles in 66 days, leaving San Francisco in 1898 and travelling south through the Straits of Magellan until finally arriving at Jupiter Inlet, Florida, where she reported for battle in the Spanish-American War. While the ship demonstrated the capabilities of a heavy battleship, it also eliminated any opposition to the construction of the Panama Canal, as the country could not afford two months to send warships from one coast to another in times of emergency. Decommissioned in 1906, she was later recommissioned in 1911 and remained in the reserve, until stricken from the Navy list in 1942. 

The new attack sub Oregon is the 20th in the Virginia class and the second Block IV boat in the class. The ship began construction in fall 2014 and is expected to be delivered next fall. Block IV subs include design changes to reduce total ownership cost and increase operational availability by decreasing the planned number of depot availabilities from four to three. 

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. 

Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities — sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.