USS NORTH DAKOTA to be Christened on Nov. 2, Commissioned May 31

The Secretary of the Navy officially notified ship sponsor Katie Fowler and the USS North Dakota Commissioning committee that May 31, 2014 is the date of the commissioning ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine.Posted September 13, 2013


.  The commissioning ceremony officially places the vessel in active service with the Navy and marks the beginning of the life of the military service of the boat.

The commissioning of the submarine will mark the first time in almost 100 years that a military vessel has carried the name of North Dakota.  The USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784) is the first boat of the Block III, Virginia-class submarines.  It brings forward several innovations including a revised bow and includes technology from the Ohio-class submarine fleet.  The boat’s sponsor, Katie Fowler, will officially “bring the boat to life” when she gives the command to “Man the Ship” toward the end of the official ceremony.

Fowler will officially christen the boat on Nov. 2, 2013 in Groton, Conn. The christening marks the end of the shipbuilding process and officially launches the boat and formalizes the name of the boat. Fowler was chosen by then Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter to serve as the sponsor.  She will maintain a relationship with the NORTH DAKOTA throughout the life of the boat.

“After three years of planning and watching the USS NORTH DAKOTA under construction, the dates of the christening and commissioning mark the boat’s journey into service,” said Fowler.  “Captain Gordon and the boat’s officers and crew are working hard to make the NORTH DAKOTA one of the best boats in the Navy.  I look forward to the coming months as we bring the boat to life.”

More information on the USS NORTH DAKOTA may be found on Commissioning Chairman Bob Wefald’s blog at

3 thoughts on “USS NORTH DAKOTA to be Christened on Nov. 2, Commissioned May 31

  1. Mardelle Buechler

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    My family and I would love to attend this ceremony. Is the public allowed to attend? If so what do we need to do to be able to attend?

    1. Jamie Spainhower

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      The ship has already been christened (Nov. 2), but more information is available at – Chairman Bob Wetads blog on the whole process of the ship building, etc.
      Thanks for the inquiry!

  2. I grew up in ND and now live in Glastonbury, CT. Can my wife and I attend the commissioning on Nov 2? How do we do it?

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