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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.

04. December 2016 · Comments Off on USS Colorado (SSN 788) Christened · Categories: Christening, KeyEvent

On December 3rd, USS Colorado was Christened by Ship’s Sponsor, Annie Mabus, in ceremonies at General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

The Christening is the ceremony where the ship is officially given it’s name by the sponsor and is blessed before it enters the water. In the past the submarine immediately slid into the water after a bottle of wine was broken over it’s hull. Modern submarines however are too large for this so the “float off” is now a separate event and will happen for Colorado in about three weeks.

References to ceremony surrounding ship launchings can be found as far back as the 3rd Millennium BC, The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all called upon their gods to protect seamen. In the US Navy the first recorded Christening was that of USS Ironsides on October 21, 1797.

It is part of that tradition that the ship’s sponsor is technically considered a permanent member of the ship’s crew and is expected to impart her personality to the ship as well as be an advocate for its continued service and well-being.

Colorado winery Balistreri Vineyards produced a special batch of sparkling wine for the Christening. To honor the Battleship USS Colorado (BB 45), which was christened in 1923 with a bottle of “muddy Colorado River water”, the sparkling wine rested in a bucket filled with ice made from Colorado River water.

Seven veterans of WWII service on Battleship Colorado were present and, as part of the ceremony, presented to the crew pens made of teak decking salvaged from the battleship when it was decommissioned in 1947. The decking, as one veteran put it, was “washed in the blood of our brothers.” Battleship Colorado saw heavy action during the war earning seven Battle Stars during which 93 men lost their lives.

The state of Colorado was well represented at the Ceremony. Over 100 persons traveled from the Centennial State to witness and celebrate the event. The Colorado contingent consisted of members of the Commissioning Committee and several sponsors, State Senators Larry Crowder, Mary Hodge and Bob Gardner, submarine veterans, crew member families and other submarine supporters. Members of Congress from Colorado present were Representatives Mike Coffman, Ed Perlmutter and Doug Lamborn. The three Congressmen were part of the official party, each providing remarks during the program. Other remarks were from shipyard officials, Congressmen and Senators from Connecticut and Rhode Island and Governor Daniel Mallory of Connecticut.

RADM Michael Jabalay introduced the principal speaker, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. Secretary Mabus, proud father of the sponsor, gave tribute to the Veterans and the Crew.He will leave office in January and after an eight year tenure will be the longest running Secretary of the Navy since WWI. 

Annie’s remarks acknowledged the great honor and looked forward to her continuing relationship with the subsequent Captains and Crew throughout Colorado’s life.

After a blessing by Father Anthony Dinoto, the ceremony concluded with the breaking of the bottle of sparkling wine with the traditional words “In the name of the United States, I Christen thee Colorado. May God bless her and all who sail in her.”

Here is the Christening Program:

Christening Program

An abbreviated video of the ceremony will be posted for the next week at www.gdebchristenings.com

See multimedia description of Christening

23. November 2016 · Comments Off on Preparations Underway for COLORADO Christening · Categories: Christening, KeyEvent

Preparations for USS Colorado’s Christening are well underway. General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard is expecting about 3,000 persons to attend this momentous event on December 3rd. Colorado will be well represented.

Colorado’s own Balistreri Vineyards has produced the sparkling wine that will be broken over the boat by the ship’s sponsor, Annie Mabus, as the boat is officially given its name. To honor the Battleship Colorado, which was christened in 1923 with a bottle of “muddy Colorado River water”, the sparkling wine will rest in a bucket filled with ice made with water from our own Colorado River. About ten veterans who served on the Battleship Colorado during World War II will be in attendance along with about 75 family members.

Over 100 Coloradans are planning on making the trip to Groton for the event. Senator Bennett and Representative Perlmutter will be part of the official party. Four members of the state legislature will be in attendance. In addition, the Colorado contingent will include members of the Commissioning Committee, Submarine Veterans and other supporters of USS Colorado (SSN 788). Several family members of native Colorado crew members will also attend.

As part of the activities of the day, the Colorado Thirty Group, a non-profit group which fosters understanding and cooperation between the civilian community, the government and the military, will present a sculpture of the ship’s crest which will be mounted on the boat when it is completed.

The Commissioning Committee will hold a reception for the Colorado contingent and the Crew on Friday before the Christening.

USS Colorado (SSN 788) is the 15th Virginia Class nuclear attack submarine and will be commissioned and enter service late next summer. It is the fourth ship to bear the name. Be sure to sign up on our web site for the Commissioning Committee’s newsletter and email list to keep abreast of committee activities and information about the commissioning. We hope to have an even larger group attend from Colorado for the Commissioning.

25. March 2016 · Comments Off on COLORADO Passes Pressure Hull Complete Milestone · Categories: KeyEvent

This month PCU Colorado passed her Pressure Hull Complete milestone. That means that all the hull sections have been welded together and the boat will be ready for the water soon. The picture below shows the boat in the construction hall. The enclosures around the hull surround the area where the welds were completed and will be removed soon. Photo courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat.

COLORADO Pressure Hull Complete

COLORADO Pressure Hull Complete

28. July 2015 · Comments Off on COLORADO’s Bow Arrives in Groton · Categories: Construction, KeyEvent

The bow hull section of USS Colorado (SSN 788) arrived in Groton on Friday evening, July 27. The story was reported in the New London Day but originally incorrectly reported that it was the bow of USS South Dakota (SSN 790).

COLORADO bow section

COLORADO bow section arriving in Groton

26. July 2015 · Comments Off on COLORADO’S Forward Hull Section Enroute to Groton · Categories: Construction, KeyEvent

COLORADO’S bow hull section was spotted in New York’s East River en route to Groton as reported in the New York Post. With a decidedly New York focus they mentioned that the submarine will not be based in New York! The forward hull section is built by Newport News in Virginia and shipped to Electric Boat in Groton for final assembly. Here are some pictures that they published:

Earlier this year the stern hull section arrived in Groton from Electric Boat’s Quonset Point Facility.

The Virginia Class SSNs are built in a teaming arrangement between Newport News and Electric Boat. Each builds certain hull sections and ships them to the final assembly shipyard, alternating between the two companies.

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