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.
We are sorry to note that World War II Submariner Andy Palenchar passed away on February 19th. Andy qualified in submarines on USS Finback (SS 230) in 1943. During the 9th war patrol he was the sailor who hoisted LTJG George H. W. Bush aboard Finback after the future President had been shot down in the Pacific. Andy left the Navy after the war but later joined the Army reserves. He was activated for the Korean conflict and remained on active duty serving in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1978.
Andy was a proud submariner. He was active with the Rocky Mountain Base of US Submarine Veterans. In spite of being recently hospitalized he still attended the February Submarine Veterans. He was a great supporter of USS Colorado. He spoke at our History Colorado event in July 2015 and pinned on dolphins for SN Brayden Kane of PCU Colorado in a ceremony held at the State Capitol in December of that year. Always with a twinkle in his eye and a great sea story to tell, he was an incredible person. His service in the Army in both Korea and Vietnam was nothing sort of amazing. He was a true Patriot and will be missed by all who knew him.
The date for USS Colorado Christening is confirmed for December 3rd. Electric Boat has asked for input for those desiring an invitation to the event. Inputs are due to them before the end of the month, so if you would like an invitation, please complete the form by October 26th.
Once the list has been submitted to Electric Boat, the formal invitations will go out. You must respond to the formal invitation to gain admittance to the Christening.
The shipyard will have a reception after the Christening but space is very limited and only a few from Colorado will get to attend. The Commissioning Committee will be holding our own reception, but the details have not been finalized. We will send the information to those who indicate a desire to attend the Christening.
The list of individuals desiring invitations has been forwarded to Electric Boat
USS Colorado Commissioning Committee is proud to host a reception and fund raising event on April 8 at Balistreri Vineyards. Guest speaker will retired Vice Admiral Jay Donnelly, former Commander of U.S. Submarine Forces. We also hope to have several members of the crew in town for the event.
Committee Members Rick Martin, Steve Kelly and JJ Mackin visited members of Senator Bennet’s Staff on February 19th as part of the Navy League’s grassroots Legislative Affairs Initiative. After discussing the larger Navy issues, Committee Chair JJ Mackin provided an update on USS Colorado (SSN 788). Policy Director Becca Montgomery and Constituent Advocate Alisha Andrews listened with interest and asked that they be kept informed of future events that the Senator may be able to attend.