Welcome to USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commissioning Committee web site. USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the 15th Virginia Class submarine and is currently under construction at Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Ct. It is expected to be commissioned in October or November 2017. The committee's purposes are to promote awareness within the state, provide support for the crew, and to help organize and raise money for the events surrounding commissioning.

31. August 2017 · Comments Off on Colorado Completes Initial Sea Trials · Categories: KeyEvent

PCU Colorado returned from sea trials on August 30 completing both the Alpha and Bravo trials. The first phase, Alpha Trials, lasted from 19th to the 22nd and included a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.The trials were directed by U.S. Navy Adm. James F. Caldwell Jr., Director – Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Also participating in the sea trials were Capt. Jeffrey Heydon, supervisor of shipbuilding in Groton; and Jeffrey S. Geiger, president of Electric Boat. 

PCU COLORADO underway on Alpha Trials, August 19, 2017. Photo by Electric Boat

The crew preformed extremely well testing the boat to it’s design limits. After an inport period, the boat will return to sea for an inspection with the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), which is the last major step before a ship is certified ready to be delivered to the Navy. Congratulations COLORADO!

Coincidentally, as SSN 788 completed her sea trials on August 30th, that day also marks 94 years since the commissioning of USS Colorado (BB-45). Their alumni association’s website notes:

“Thus in 1921, the third in the COLORADO lineage of fighting ships became the cynosure of international relations. The world saw the epitome of floating potency. Two years of fitting out elapsed between the 1921 launching of USS COLORADO (BB-45) and her commissioning on August 30, 1923. Captain Reginald Rowan Belknap (Annapolis ’91), veteran of the Spanish-American and World Wars, the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion, was ordered to command this newest addition the United States Fleet, the last such addition for many years in accordance with the Naval treaty.”

For more about BB-45 visit the USS Colorado Alumni Association  website.

Some additional pictures of COLORADO underway by Toni Franklin and Mary Keyes

22. July 2017 · Comments Off on Crew Moves Aboard. John Fielder Pictures Installed · Categories: KeyEvent, Other Event

On June 23rd  USS Colorado passed two significant milestones. First was Habitability milestone. That milestone means that the ship is acceptable for the crew to live on board and that the mess is now open. Earlier this week the pictures that John Fielder donated to the boat were installed in the crew’s mess area, so the ship is truly taking on the character of our state. The second milestone is “In Service” which means the crew is now responsible for the safety and security of the boat, damage control, and they man the in-port forward watches of Petty Officer of the Deck and other armed watchstanders. They will hold morning and evening colors and ringing on-board of senior officers (with the standard-issue bell for now).

These are significant achievements, one step closer to sea trials and to Commissioning!

Below are the John Fielder pictures installed in the Crew’s Mess and on the Serving Line.

06. January 2017 · Comments Off on USS Colorado Floats · Categories: KeyEvent

On December 29th COLORADO reached another milestone as the boat became waterborne. Previously rolled out of the Construction Hall after the Christening Ceremony and into the dry dock, the “Float off” was conducted the day before New Year’s Eve. Prior to flooding the dock, the shipyard held another mini-christening ceremony, with a bottle of sparkling wine broken over the fillet, the curved portion of the hull joining the sail.

In earlier days of course, submarines slid down the ways into the water at Christening. The size of modern U.S. submarines however makes that no longer possible.

Here are pictures of the Roll Out and Float Off courtesy of Electric Boat

13. December 2016 · Comments Off on Why a USS Colorado? · Categories: KeyEvent

A question we often get asked is why was this submarine named Colorado. The decision to name the ships lies with the Secretary of the Navy. He talked about the name in his remarks at the Christening Ceremony on December 3rd. So, in his own words;

“… It is also one of my great privileges to name all our ships.  And one of the things I think is important is to make that connection between the American people.  And I think it’s particularly important, as has been mentioned, to connect the Navy to states like Colorado, which may be a little ways from the sea.  (Laughter.)  Colorado has given us Sailors and Marines and Soldiers and Airmen and Coast Guardsmen for years.  The citizens of Colorado have given their sons and daughters in the defense of this country.  And that name should be out around the world telling the story of Colorado.

The last Colorado, as you’ve heard, was commissioned in 1923, but went on to earn seven Battle Stars in the Pacific – Tarawa, Marshall Islands, Marianas, the Philippines, Okinawa.  And after the war, she was assigned to Magic Carpet duty and brought more than 6,000 veterans home to their families.  And now, almost 70 years since the last Colorado was decommissioned, it’s time.  It’s time to have another Colorado, to have a submarine which will carry the legacy and the patriotism of the state of Colorado for decades to come.  She and her crew will carry the American spirit, will carry the name Colorado worldwide.  A lot of times Sailors aboard these ships are the only Americans people from outside this country will ever meet, and they’re great at that job as well.”

Secretary Mabus also payed tribute to the crew who will sail COLORADO and to the Ship’s Sponsor, his daughter, Annie. For a complete transcript of his remarks see Secretary of the Navy Remarks 

09. December 2016 · Comments Off on Other Events Surround Christening · Categories: Christening, KeyEvent

On the weekend of the Colorado’s Christening, several events were held bringing together the crew of PCU Colorado, the veterans of Battleship USS Colorado (BB 45), the Coloradans who traveled to Connecticut for the event and the ship’s sponsor Annie Mabus. On Friday afternoon, the Committee held a reception for the Colorado contingent to meet the Crew and the ship’s sponsor, Annie Mabus. We were happy that the veterans of the Battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) and their families could join us. Nearly 250 got together in the Marriott. It was great to see the groups intermingle, especially as the WWII vets shared their sea stories with the crew. Former State Senator Bernie Herpin presented Annie with a sample of the USS Colorado license plate which he sponsored in the legislature. State Senators Larry Crowder, Mary Hodge and Senator elect Bob Gardner helped Committee Chair ‘JJ’ Mackin present a copy of the ship’s crest which was signed by all state legislators and the Governor during the last session to the Commanding Officer, CDR Ken Franklin. The crest will be mounted on one of the tables in the Crew’s Mess.

Veterans of the Battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) who attended the events were Frank Byars, Bill Dougherty, Ken Jones, David Jones, Charles Johnson, Wayne Kizer, Charlie Ripper, Bill Tomczyk, and Randall Toop. Also participating were widows of crew members Mariana Cochran, Charlotte Dean, Geraldine Jacks and Erma Krishnek. Some of this group traveled from as far as Texas, Oklahoma and Idaho. We were honored by their presence which made the events of the weekend truly special.

On Friday evening Electric Boat hosted a special Sponsor’s Dinner for Annie. The dinner included executives from Electric Boat, Congressmen, the CO, XO, COB and about six crew members from the boat and their spouses. At this dinner CDR Ken Franklin honored Annie by making her an honorary Submariner and presenting her with Dolphins.

On Saturday after the Christening, Electric Boat held a reception at the Marriott. The Colorado Thirty Group presented a special plaque of the Ship’s Crest to the Commanding Officer.  The Thirty Group commissioned Native American artist and Vietnam veteran Doug Hyde, a noted bronze artist, to create this plaque which will be mounted in the boat’s wardroom for the life of the submarine. It will serve as a permanent reminder of the support from the citizens of Colorado for the mission of the crew and vessel.  The Colorado Thirty Group, founded in 1978, is a state-wide military support organization providing educational events to its participants. The group also provides Colorado military installation commanders with connections to communities in the state and acts in support of military missions. The sculpture was commissioned with the support of its members.

On Saturday evening the Commissioning Committee organized a social hour and buffet dinner for the Colorado contingent, the Battleship veterans group and the CO, XO and COB. About 150 were in attendance. The highlight of the evening was when the veterans described some of their experiences during the war on BB45. It truly captivated those listening and made us all the more appreciative of the sacrifices that these brave men made to preserve our freedom

Overall the Christening and surrounding events were truly memorable experiences. The crew enjoyed the support from attending Coloradans and were truly humbled to meet the veterans from their namesake Battleship.

Our Presenting Sponsor