USS South Dakota submarine to be christened Saturday
For the first time in decades, a U.S. Navy ship will bear the name South Dakota.
Navy officials will christen a new fast attack submarine the "U.S.S South Dakota" in a ceremony Saturday morning in Groton, Conn. at 9:00 a.m. C.T. You can watch the ceremony live
According to Capt. Deb Bodenstedt, the ceremony will include the traditional smashing of champagne across the bow by the boat’s sponsor. “South Dakota’s” sponsor is Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, wife of the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. Governor Dennis Daugaard will also speak at the event.
The sub will carry a crew of 14 officers and 117 enlisted servicemen. Officials say the ship is powered by a nuclear reactor, offering an unlimited source of fuel lasting the life span of the ship, which is projected to be over 30 years.
This will be the first ship to bear the name of the state since the famed U.S.S. South Dakota battleship, which earned several awards - including 13 Battle Stars - for its service in World War II. It was decommissioned in 1962.