WASHINGTON -- The Navy commissioned USS Mississippi (SSN 782), the ninth Virginia-class attack submarine, during a ceremony in Pascagoula, Miss., June 2
Mississippi, built under a unique teaming agreement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News, delivered to the Navy in just over 62 months - the fastest delivery yet for a Virginia class submarine. All Virginia class submarines currently under construction are on track to deliver early to the Navy.
"Mississippi's commissioning is the culmination of a very successful construction process for our Navy/industry shipbuilding team," said Rear Adm. (sel.) Michael Jabaley, Virginia-class program manager and vice commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. "Mississippi was delivered to the fleet a year ahead of her contracted date, and was the most combat ready Virginia class submarine to date as determined by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey."
In time-honored tradition, the ship's sponsor Allison Stiller, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (ships), issued the order to, "Man our ship and bring her to life!" With the order, Mississippi's crew ran aboard and placed the submarine in commission.
"The Submarine Force and the fleet have eagerly anticipated this day," said Rear Adm. David Johnson, program executive officer for submarines. "USS Mississippi provides the Navy with unique and unparalleled capabilities and joins the fleet at a time when submarines are being called upon to perform vital national security tasking around the globe."
Other upcoming major submarine acquisition milestones in 2012 include Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Indiana's (SSN 789) construction start Sept. 2 and PCU Minnesota's (SSN 783) christening planned for this fall.
Virginia-class submarines are designed to dominate the world's littoral and deep waters, while conducting anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; special operation forces; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.