Celebrating the new USS Iowa

By Tedde Orton, U.S. Navy Program Manager

Almost finished with its build in Groton, CT at General Dynamics Electric Boat, the USS Iowa (SSN 797) will be christened 17 June 2023. A christening is a celebratory ceremony held when a newly built ship or submarine is ready to join the fleet. After about a year following the christening ceremony, the marine vessel is officially commissioned.

It’s the tradition to shatter a bottle of champagne against the bow of the ship at this ceremony, the act has been said to bring honor and good fortune to the vessel and its sailors. Former First Lady of Iowa, Christie Vilsack, was nominated as the sponsor for the submarine and will have the honor for the USS Iowa.

About the USS Iowa:

  • It’s a Virginia class submarine and the fifth U.S. Navy ship named after the state of Iowa. Virginia class is a specific class of nuclear-powered, fast attack submarine in service with the United States Navy.
  • It is the 24th of 37 planned Virginia class nuclear submarines and is a joint effort between Huntington Ingalls and General Dynamics Electric Boat.
  • Once commissioned, it will be the first attack submarine built specifically to accommodate both male and female sailors.
  • It is a $3B vessel sitting at 377 feet long, with a crew of 120 personnel and 14 officers.

I am honored to not only attend the christening, but also proud to share that Crystal Group’s rugged, rackmount servers will support the vessel for the Navy’s next generation afloat network. Our computing hardware is designed with the safety of the warfighter in mind, so as an Iowan, I am especially proud to personally and professionally support this submarine.

As a special tribute to Iowa, water has been collected from a variety of springs and natural lakes around the state. Over the next two weeks, the Navy will have Matthew Powell, the submarine’s captain, and various shipyard officials lifted over the bow of the USS Iowa to pour the collected water over the boat to anoint it. This means the first water that ever touches the USS Iowa will be water from the state of Iowa!

The USS Iowa will be in the fleet and serving our country for the next three decades.

Fair Winds and Following Seas to the USS Iowa.

To learn more about the USS Iowa, visit their website.

Images courtesy of the USS Iowa website.