General Martin E. Dempsey, U.S. ARMY, the 18th and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, toured USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784) on Thursday, January 31st. Lieutenant Commander Jeremiah Minner, NORTH DAKOTA’s Executive Officer reported that “yesterday we gave a VIP tour of the ship to GENERAL Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We had a little more than an hour and a half with the General and it was a great tour.” At the end of the tour, in the wardroom, Commander Doug Gordon, NORTH DAKOTA’s Commanding Officer presented General Dempsey with NORTH DAKOTA’s Command Challenge Coin. In return, NORTH DAKOTA’s Command Team received Chairman Joints Chief of Staff Challenge Coins. XO Minner noted, “It took a significant effort by the crew and the shipyard to make the ship ready for this tour. The tour went great and the ship was clean and ready to present.” I suspect the process of welding the forward supermodule to the rest of the boat was still going on because when Commander Gordon was in his ship’s namesake state he indicated NORTH DAKOTA’s pressure hull was expected to be completely welded together by the end of the first week of February.
Here is a photo of General Dempsey and NORTH DAKOTA’s Command Team in the wardroom at the end of the tour. L to R are GEN Dempsey, CDR Gordon, ETCM Preabt and LCDR Minner. What for me is great about this photo is the fact this is the first photo I’ve seen of any part of NORTH DAKOTA’s interior spaces. All photos are compliments of General Dynamics Electric Boat, the builder of USS NORTH DAKOTA.
Commander Gordon and General Dempsey with NORTH DAKOTA’s crest.
Commander Gordon, Kevin E. Poitras, the President of General Dynamics Electric Boat, General Dempsey and John Casey, Executive Vice President of General Dynamics’ Marine Systems group.
General Dempsey bids farewell to Commander Gordon.