The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Vermont (SSN-792), the 19th Virginia-class attack submarine, today, April 18, 2020.
Although the traditional public commissioning ceremony was cancelled due to public health safety and restrictions of large public gatherings, the U.S. Navy commissioned USS Vermont (SSN-792) administratively and transitioned the ship to normal operations. Meanwhile, the Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the ship’s sponsor, crew and commissioning committee.
«This Virginia-class fast-attack submarine will continue the proud naval legacy of the state of Vermont and the ships that have borne her name», said Acting Secretary of the Navy James E. McPherson. «I am confident the crew of this cutting edge platform will carry on this tradition and confront the challenges of today’s complex world with the professionalism and dedication our nation depends on from warriors of the silent service».
Vice Admiral Daryl Caudle, commander, Submarine Forces, said Vermont’s entry to service marks a new phase of American undersea warfare dominance for a global Submarine Force that is ready to deter, defend and defeat threats to our nation, allies, and rules-based international order.
«This warship carries on a proud Vermont legacy in naval warfare and unyielding determination stretching back to the birth of our nation», Caudle said. «To her crew, congratulations on completing the arduous readiness training to enter sea trials and prepare this ship for battle. I am proud to serve with each of you! Stand ready to defend our nation wherever we are threatened – honoring your motto – FREEDOM AND UNITY. May God bless our Submarine Force, the people of Vermont, and our families! From the depths, we strike»!
The ship’s sponsor, Ms. Gloria Valdez, former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy (Ships), offered her gratitude to everyone who played a role in delivering USS Vermont (SSN-792) to service. She said she is proud to represent the crew and the first Block IV Virginia-class submarine to enter service.
«I am very proud of the sailors and families of USS Vermont (SSN-792) who worked so hard to bring her to life, and also feel extremely grateful to everyone who played a role preparing her to defend our nation for generations to come», Valdez said. «I look forward to commemorating this special occasion together with the crew in the future».
Vermont’s commanding officer, Commander Charles W. Phillips III, highlighted Vermont’s accomplishments over the past several weeks getting through initial sea trials. The hard work and dedication of the entire team during the past few years was evident in the successful execution of at-sea testing. He said he is especially thankful to the crew and their families, ship sponsor Ms. Valdez, and the USS Vermont (SSN-792) Commissioning Committee, led by Ms. Debra Martin, for all their hard work and support of the crew.
«We recognize just how important the submarine force is during this era of great power competition. As part of the nation’s maritime asymmetric advantage over our competitors, we are ready to perform whatever duty is most needed. The crew is hungry to hone our skills at-sea and become an effective fighting unit, and we will work tirelessly to justify the nation’s confidence in us. Today marks the culmination of six years of dedicated work by the men and women who constructed the nation’s newest and most capable warship. We are all honored to be part of this historic moment», Phillips said. «We are also grateful for the families who have supported our sailors through the long process of bringing this warship to life and dedicated their time with patriotism and selfless devotion».
USS Vermont (SSN-792) is the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the «Green Mountain State». The first Vermont was one of nine 74-gun warships authorized by Congress in 1816. The second Vermont, Battleship No. 20, was commissioned in 1907 and first deployed in December of that same year as part of the «Great White Fleet». She was decommissioned June 30, 1920.
USS Vermont (SSN-792) is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.
The submarine is 377 feet/114.8 m long, has a 34-foot/10.3632-meter beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800+ feet/244+ m and operate at speeds in excess of 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h submerged. The ship’s construction began in May 2014, and it will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century. It is the first the first of 10 Virginia-class Block IV submarines. Block IV submarines incorporate design changes focused on reduced total ownership cost. By making smaller-scale design changes, the U.S. Navy will increase the length of time between maintenance stops and increase the number of deployments.
|Builder||General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding|
|Date Deployed||October 3, 2004|
|Propulsion||One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW|
|Length||377 feet/114.8 m|
|Beam||33 feet/10.0584 m|
|Hull Diameter||34 feet/10.3632 m|
|Displacement||Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged|
|Speed||25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h|
|Diving Depth||800+ feet/244+ m|
|Crew||132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted|
|Armament: Tomahawk missiles||Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles|
|Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes||4 torpedo tubes|
|Weapons||MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)|
* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories
Nuclear Submarine Lineup
|SSN-794 Montana||NNS||Under Construction|
|SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover||EB||Under Construction|
|SSN-796 New Jersey||NNS||Under Construction|
|SSN-797 Iowa||EB||Under Construction|
|SSN-798 Massachusetts||NNS||Under Construction|
|SSN-799 Idaho||EB||Under Construction|
|SSN-800 Arkansas||NNS||Under Construction|
|SSN-801 Utah||EB||Under Construction|