USS Iowa Sub To Be Christened

(Groton, CT) --The USS IOWA SSN 797, a soon-to-be-commissioned nuclear submarine for the U.S. Navy will be christened Saturday, June 17th in Groton, Connecticut. Former Iowa First Lady Christy Vilsack will christen the sub, which will carry IOWA's name through the next 3 decades + of service.

The Iowa is the 24th of 37 planned Virginia class nuclear submarines. It is the first sub designed to house male and female sailors.

“This will be a fantastic event full of tradition and ceremony,” said Capt. Doug MacCrea USN (Retired), chairman of the USS IOWA Commissioning Committee. “This entire event is made possible by the hard work of the ship’s crew, the volunteer members of the Commissioning Committee and the financial support of sponsors from across the state that have committed significant resources to bring the event to life.”

Christening is the third of five major events in the life a ship as she becomes a U.S. fighting vessel. The first event was the naming of the future submarine by then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on the campus of Iowa State University in September 2015. The second event is the keel-laying that marks the official beginning of the construction. This event was held in North Kingstown, Rhode Island in 2019 and was highlighted as shipwrights welded Christie Vilsack’s initials onto the metal hull of the ship. The third milestone will be the Christening event where the name IOWA and the submarine are officially matched together by both the shipbuilder and the Navy.

Formal delivery of the submarine to the Navy by Electric Boat is the next stage with the final stage being the formal commissioning of the IOWA as a member of the fleet in the spring of 2024. The Christening Ceremony will begin at 10:00am EDT on June 17.

The USS IOWA Commissioning Committee will be hosting watch parties at various locations around the state. Please visit for more details. This USS IOWA will become the fourth ship to bear the name of the Hawkeye State. The most recent was the former USS IOWA (BB-61), an iconic battleship that served from 1942 to 1949 and again from 1951 to 1958 and finally from 1984 to 1990 when she was officially decom

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