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.