Gov. Jack and First Lady Betsy Dalrymple will attend the commissioning ceremony for the USS North Dakota (SSN-784), a ceremony that officially places the nuclear-powered attack submarine in active service with America’s military forces. The Governor will speak at the event, which will be held Saturday, October 25 in Groton, Conn.
“As we prepare to celebrate our state’s 125th birthday, the commissioning of this majestic submarine is a special gift to the people of North Dakota,” said Gov. Dalrymple. “The USS North Dakota is destined to be a definitive force in the U.S. Navy and we are proud that when she does, she will do so bearing the name, spirit and heritage of the great state of North Dakota.”
Saturday’s commissioning occurs just days before the state officially celebrates its 125th anniversary of statehood. North Dakota was admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889, when President Benjamin Harrison signed the Proclamation of Admission. South Dakota was also admitted on that day.
The USS North Dakota is the first in a new series of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class nuclear submarines and includes cutting-edge technologies, sophisticated equipment and stealth capabilities. The ship is 377 feet long, weighs 7,800 tons and will operate for 33 years without a need to refuel. Construction on the USS North Dakota began in March 2009. The $2.6 billion vessel is the second Navy warship to carry the name North Dakota.
The commissioning ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. CDT on October 25 and will be streamed live online at www.navy.mil. The ceremony will also be broadcast live on local television stations across the state.
Between 2,500 and 3,000 people are expected to attend Saturday’s ceremony, including 450 to 500 people with ties to North Dakota.
The USS NORTH DAKOTA is nearing her final and most festive milestone…the commissioning! As we prepare for this historic moment, we graciously ask for your support. The USS North Dakota Committee is responsible for hosting a variety of celebratory events connected to the commissioning. In addition for planning and prep work, our committee is responsible for covering the costs.
Please consider lending your financial support to ensure we have the best celebration for the best boat soon to sail the seas.
- Mate ………….. $100+
- Chief ………….. $500+
- Captain ………. $1,000+
- Admiral ………. $5,000+
All contributions of $100 or more will be recognized in the commissioning program. 100 percent of your gift is tax deductible and will support the commissioning events. We welcome you to be apart of history by attending the commissioning on May 31, 2014 in Groton Connecticut and by contributing to the commissioning events. Click on each link for more information.
Seated from left to right, Bob Wefald, Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Bill Butcher. Standing Kelvin Hullet, Andy Peterson and Dot Frank.
The USS North Dakota Committee is excited to announce that Friday, Dec. 11, 2013 is USS NORTH DAKOTA Day. Please join us in Memorial Hall at the State Capitol for a display of the submarine, merchandise and more. Commander Douglas Gordon, Commanding Officer of the USS NORTH DAKOTA will be speaking to the Senate at 12:30 p.m. and the House at 1 p.m. that day. Click here to read the Governor’s proclamation.
Chairman of the USS ND Committee Bob Wefald, Cmdr. Douglas Gordon and Susan Wefald.
Chairman of the USS North Dakota Committee Bob Wefald will begin blogging about the efforts to support and promote the Block 3 Virginia-Class Nuclear Submarine currently under construction in Quonset Point, Rhode Island and Groton Connecticut and soon to be named the USS North Dakota. This blog will journal the efforts of the committee as they promote the build and support the crew already assigned to the PCU.
Judge Bob Wefald retired after a forty year legal career including four years as attorney general from 1981 to 1984, with his last twelve years as a District Court Judge inBismarck. He is the chairman of the USS North Dakota Committee which is promoting the second ship named after our state. A nuclear powered submarine is currently under construction inGroton,Connecticut. It will be commissioned as the USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784) in 2014 and will serve in the Navy for 33 years without ever having to be refueled.
Judge Wefald grew up inMinot, and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1964, after which he served three years on active duty as a Naval Officer, including six months as a gunnery officer on a guided missile destroyer off the coast ofVietnamin 1966. He continued his service in the Naval Reserve retiring as a Captain in 1991.
In 1985 as a member of the Military Affairs Committee of theBismarck– Mandan Area Chamber of Commerce he started a campaign to get a second ship named after our great state ofNorth Dakota. After a campaign of twenty-three years, including annual letters to our congressional delegation and letters to presidents and secretaries of the Navy, his persistence finally paid off in 2008 when then Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter announced that a submarine about to be built was to be named USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784).
He and his wife, retired Public Service Commissioner Susan Wefald, have three children and two grandchildren.